Six Steps Down
When sixteen year old Aisley Brannon first comes to live at Sheldon's Seat, little does she know of the tragic history she is about to uncover. A school project throws her together with five friends as they decide to make her home the subject of their presentation.
What ensues is a hundred year old journey of mystery and discovery, running alongside the turmoil of a modern teenage love story. Aisley and her friends ride a rollercoaster of intrigue, heartbreak and disaster before the truth is finally revealed.
The first book in a series by debut writer Mandi Greenwood, Six Steps Down is a page-turning read suitable for YA Fiction readers.
An ardent lover of books from day one, Mandi Greenwood has been reading and writing fiction her entire life, and has always wanted to be an author. Surrounded by books since childhood, she was besotted early on by the likes of Charlotte Bronte, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and of course, JRR Tolkien. Her first copy of Jane Eyre, given to her at age ten, was re-read over and over until it literally fell apart. Mandi still adores reading and she has encouraged this love and respect for books in her children as well. Six Steps Down is Mandi's debut novel. It and the sequel she is currently writing come from ideas formed over time inspired by many things, but predominantly by her love for Victoria's beautiful, rugged coastline. She is based in Glen Waverley.
Six Steps Down
Short Stop Press
Author: Mandi Greenwood
Interview with Mandi Greenwood
Question: What was the initial motivation behind the story of Six Steps Down?
Mandi Greenwood: Years ago, when I was sixteen, I went back to England to visit relatives. I come from the seaside town of Hastings, in Easter Sussex, and it was while I was sitting on top of the cliffs on the West Hill that the story began to form in my mind. The wind was howling and I stared out over the ocean and could imagine an old house, right where I was sitting, and the mysteries that such a place might have.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Aisley Brannon?
Mandi Greenwood: I'm extremely fond of Aisley. Watching her personality develop as the story panned out and discovering that she is strong, compassionate and inspiring was perhaps the best thing about creating her.
I'm extremely fond of Aisley. Watching her personality develop as the story panned out and discovering that she is strong, compassionate and inspiring was perhaps the best thing about creating her.
Question: Is there a certain place which inspired Sheldon's Seat?
Mandi Greenwood: As I said, the house is a teenage fantasy of mine. Imagine how good it would be living in a creepy mansion on the cliff tops around Wilsons Promontory in Victoria's east … my initial inspiration was Hastings, but it works equally well here in Australia. There is no real Sheldon's Seat but I wish there was!
Question: What do you enjoy most about writing for young-adult readers?
Mandi Greenwood: Teens and young adults are switched-on, complex people with super highs and extreme lows, and I find their views interesting. They're worth listening to, and to be able to write for them without seeming patronising is something I enjoy the most.
Question: What's next for this book series?
Mandi Greenwood: There is one sequel to Six Steps Down and I'm maybe two thirds through writing it. While Six Steps Down takes place when Aisley and her friends are sixteen and in year ten, the sequel takes us with them through to the end of secondary college. Characters and places will be revisited in a whole, new way as events unfold, and some players who played a mere cameo in Six Steps Down will step into the spotlight.
While I haven't fully decided on the name for this sequel, I'm extremely excited about it. It's a great story!
Interview by Brooke Hunter