Book Club: Garstang teacher pens Hobbit-like fantasy

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Since its release at the end of March, Shem Weaver’s ‘Witch in the Green’ has fluctuated between the top two and 15 per cent of all books on Amazon.

The 46-year-old teacher said: “I live in Garstang, where the book is also set, and couldn’t help but put this magical little town in the novel too.

“It was also influenced by the deeply enchanting Bowland forest area.

“I’ve always been interested in the fantasy genre ever since I read ‘The Hobbit’. I think I read the book about six times when I was about 12.

“I love the idea of inventing fantastical creatures which have human characteristics.”

Shem’s story has an environmental theme in which Astarta, an evil sorceress, is stealing the life force of the earth.

As a result, the world is beset by devastating hurricanes and floods, and the seasons are all out of rhythm.

Many plants and creatures are becoming extinct too.

Three human 12- year-olds, Keeva, Luke and Moth – befriended by the elf world called the Ench in the story – are trying to stop Astarta.

The humans and the elves must complete a quest to find out how Astarta can be stopped.

This quest leads from Garstang to Beacon Fell, the Trough of Bowland, Slaidburn, Whalley, Whitewell and finally to Marl Hill Moor.

Many of the clues in these places are based upon real life facts and established legends.

Although the story is primarily aimed at 11 to 14-year-olds, Shem says it may appeal to anyone who likes the fantasy genre.

The ebook is available on Amazon, priced £1.14.

It is also available through all the other major ebook distributors.