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English Writer Elizabeth Hopkinson Answers 14 Questions

I’m proud to present a "blog-hop" between the English writer Elizabeth Hopkinson, whose historical fantasy SILVER HANDS came out last year, and me. We’re interviewing each other and posting the resulting conversations on our blogs. So have a look at her entry on

Apart from being a writer, Elizabeth is also a mother, plays piano at her church and sometimes at the Swanwick Writers' summer School, and makes beautiful handcraft jewellery and adornments. I'm grateful she finds the time to grant us a glimpse into her writing-life.

SILVER HANDS was (partly) inspired by fairy tales and legends, and I know that you lead workshops about myths, legends and how to integrate them in stories. How important is traditional folk lore to you?
Very important.  I have loved fairy tales since I was a child, and began to learn more about them when I was at university.  Traditional stories are at the heart of all storytelling and, since the oldest myths and tales are sacred stories that means all storytelling is somehow sacred.

The ending of SILVER HANDS suggests a sequel. Is that so, and when will it come out?
I do have an idea for a sequel, starting in Japan.  But since I am currently seeking an agent for a completely different trilogy, I don't know what will become of that idea.


Why did you begin to write? Was there a specific event that spurred you on?
I can't remember


Serena and the Knights of St. John (Part 7)

"She's the only survivor of a shipwreck. A merchant sailing ship. Its captain blew it up to conceal the escape of messengers on the way to Sultan Suleiman. She's Maltese but has never seen her home country. Her mother was abducted into slavery by the pirate Dragut."

"Praise the Lord!" somebody in the crowd cried and pushed to the front.

Several other onlookers nodded and made the sign of the cross.

"Praise the Lord," the man shouted again. He was wearing blue baggy trousers, a long brown overcoat and a dark red turban.

"That's Paul," Jerome whispered into Serena's ear. "He came here years ago. People say


Serena und die Johanniter (Teil 7)

"Sie ist die einzige Überlebende eines Schiffsunglücks. Ein Handelsschiff. Der Kapitän sprengte es in die Luft, um die Flucht eines Boten auf dem Weg zu Sultan Suleiman zu decken. Sie ist Malteserin, hat aber ihr Heimatland noch nie gesehen. Ihre Mutter wurde vom Piraten Dragut in die Sklaverei verschleppt."

"Lobet den Herrn!", schrie jemand in der Menge und schob sich nach vorne.

Einige der anderen Zuschauer nickten und bekreuzigten sich.

"Lobet den Herrn", rief der Mann erneut. Er trug blaue Pluderhosen, einen langen, braunen Überwurf und einen dunkelroten Turban.

"Das ist Paul", flüsterte Jerome Serena ins Ohr. "Er kam vor Jahren hierher. Die Leute sagen,


What else has happened...


What a week.

In its 66th year, the Swanwick Writers' Summer School once more boasted a fabulous programme. There were courses like poetry, led by Matt Black, TV-Screenwriting with Angela Churm, Children's/YA Fiction with Steve Hartley and Interest the Media and Crime Writing with Simon Hall (to name but a few). Apart from that, there was a huge choice of workshops and courses covering almost every topic a writer could wish for from Solving Plot Problems with Kate McCormick – who introduced us to various kinds of brainstorming and mind charts – to Let's Tweet with me.

There were far too many participants in my Twitter course. I had reckoned with about 20. The room allotted to me was barely able to accommodate the almost 50 who turned up. Based on that, Kate McCormick and I sketched out a different concept, which we hope to put into practice in either 2015 or 2016. Let's see what the analysis of the feedback forms will show.

It was a very special Swanwick for me. On the first evening, I received the trophy for