Friday 19 January 2018

Dark magic at work in Jackie's new book

From an upstairs window in her new home at Bray's Raheen Park, local author Jackie Burke will be penning many future children's novels to come.

Her debut work 'The Secrets of Grindlewood' will be officially launched at Dubray Books on Bray's Main Street on Thursday September 26.

In the magic tale, Jamie and Jemima Grindle move to Grindlewood House with their pets Timber and Teddy. But they soon realise that all is not as it seems in their beautiful new garden.

There is dark magic at work in the nearby forest.

The good witch Wanda has been defeated and now the wicked warlock Worfeus is plotting to destroy Grindlewood and its enchanted garden.

Only Wanda's powerful spells, written on a secret scroll, can rid the world of the warlock.

Timber must lead the animals of Grindlewood in their quest to find the scroll and defeat their enemy. But where is the scroll hidden and will they find it before Worfeus? Is there really enough magic in their wild garden to help them defeat such evil?

Aimed at children aged seven and older, the book is brimming with enchantment and sorcery, and is a story that has been within the author for many years.

She comes from a background in the financial services industry, however she stopped working in that world and started creating her own on paper two years ago.

'I was never planning on becoming a "writer" but always loved reading and writing, and did so,' said Jackie.

Once she started, the material flowed and her second book is almost ready and should be out by the spring.

Animals, magic, the forest, witches and warlock form the population of this wonderful world, in a story that echoes the likes of C.S. Lewis, Enid Blyton and other wonderful children's authors which inspired Jackie.

Raised in a home which was full of books, she has fond memories of enchanting stories which occupied her imagination during her own childhood.

Aunt to 11 nephews and nieces, she now has plenty of test subjects of various ages available for her writings!

She always told other people that their ideas were brilliant, and they should put pen to paper. Jackie even bought her own husband Angelo a book on writing before seriously indulging her own creative passion!

'It's something wanted to do for a very long time,' she said. 'I'm actually dying to get back to it.'

Angelo was a huge supporter of her work. She started to handwrite the tale, however he eventually said 'look, this is taking off, I think you need to get it on to the computer.'

Then the finished work must be published, he insisted. While she was offered a contract by a small company, the terms didn't quite suit her and Jackie decided to go down the self-publishing route.

'You learn so much and it really feels like a journey in to a whole new world,' said Jackie.

'I love animals,' she said, on the theme of 'The Secrets of Grindlewood.'

She has a fluffy and beloved cat at home called Millie, who may even feature in a future book. Always fascinated by the wonder of 'magic' for children, her interests and passion have always included gardening, forests and the outdoors so the material really speaks to the real inner-world of Jackie Burke.

While a further three sequels are in the planning stages at the moment, for now Jackie will be kept busy on the promotional circuit and has readings in libraries arranged for October.

A website,, will be live shortly and meanwhile the delightful book with illustrations by Fintan Taite, is available in Dubray and other book shops.

Bray People

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