The Nowhere Chronicles Book One
'Sixteen's an interesting age: not quite a fully grown man, but not a kid anymore neither. Anything is possible when you're sixteen.'
Finmere Tingewick Smith was abandoned on the steps of the Old Bailey. Under the guardianship of the austere Judge Harlequin Brown and the elderly gentlemen of Orrery House, Fin has grown up under a very strange set of rules. He spends alternate years at two very different schools and now he's tired of the constant lies to even his best friends, to hide the insanity of his double life. Neither would believe the truth!
But on his sixteenth birthday, everything changes. The Judge is killed, stabbed in the chest with a double-edged sword that's disturbingly familiar, and from that moment on, Fin is catapulted into an extraordinary adventure. Through the Doorway in Fin's London, a hole in the boundaries of Existence, lies another London -- and now both are in grave danger.
For the Knights of Nowhere have kidnapped the Storyholder, the keeper of the Five Eternal Stories which weave the worlds together. Because of the Knights' actions, a black storm is coming, bringing madness with it. Fin may be just 16, but he has a long, dark journey ahead of him if he is to rescue the Storyholder and save Existence!
An engaging hero, a fast-moving narrative and a vividly realised alternate London make this a gripping read for fourteen-year-olds and over.
Sarah Silverwood has interspersed her teaching career with writing - she has a number of horror novels published under her full name, Sarah Pinborough. As an English teacher, Sarah is perfect to write for the YA market.
The Double-Edged Sword
Author: Sarah Silverwood
Tell us about the The Nowhere Chronicles and what readers should expect?
Sarah Silverwood: The Nowhere Chronicles are a trilogy of books (currently a trilogy...who knows, I may write more one day) set in two Londons. Our London, and another in a different world called the Nowhere. (The people in the Nowhere refer to our world as The Somewhere). The three books are a dark fantasy that follows the adventures of a 16 year old called Finmere Tingewick Smith, who was found as a baby on the steps of the Old Bailey. With his friends, Christopher and Joe, he discovers the two worlds and that they are protected by an order called The Knights of Nowhere, who have been secretly looking after Fin since he was abandoned. As the story unfolds, so do the events predicted in a Prophecy laid down hundreds of years before by the Magi. It's up to Fin and his friends to try and stop the ultimate destruction of all the worlds taking place. I hope that readers will love the strange differences between the worlds and all the colourful characters that Fin meets along the way.
What is the best thing about creating a character like Finmere Tingewick Smith?
Sarah Silverwood: I love Fin, and from the feedback I'm getting I'm glad to hear that a lot of readers do too, as well as liking his two friends. Writing teenage characters is always fun because teenagers are at such an interesting age. For children, things tend to be black or white, or right or wrong, good or bad. Children are brutally honest. Teenagers, especially once they get over about 15, still have some of that, but are beginning to see the grey areas in the world, (primarily from their observations of adults), and they themselves are becoming more capable of levels of bravery or deceit that we expect from adults. Fin has had a really unusual childhood that has involved a lot of secrecy, and as the truth unfolds around him, I hope that the best in him shines. He has internal conflicts he has to resolve but he's essentially good and believes the best in people. Fin is one of those people that's brave without realising it, and he's really loyal.
How much of your inspiration comes from real people?
Sarah Silverwood: I don't really draw that much from real people - although I have used a lot of real people's names! The characters tend to arrive fully formed in my head so I don't spend a lot of time planning them out as I know some authors do. I suppose because I used to be a secondary school teacher I have used bit and pieces of some of the kids I used to teach in the main characters, but more as a gauge for how they would react to things than using parts of their personalities within the characters.
Who would you suggest this book is for?
Sarah Silverwood: I honestly believe that this is a book that anyone- including adults - over the age of about 12 would enjoy. I write adult thrillers under a different name and I put as much effort into the plotting of The Nowhere Chronicles as I have any of those novels, so I hope that even adult readers wouldn't see every twist coming - especially some of the revelations in book 2, The Traitor's Gate. The books are a blend of everything I liked to read as a child and teenager - a mix of dark fantasy and magical adventure. I don't think anyone ever really grows out of that stuff. When I was a kid, I wanted to climb into a book and get lost in its strange and magical worlds, and that was the kind of book I wanted to write when I started The Double-Edged Sword. I hope I've gone some way to achieving it.