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After over a week travelling up the east coast of Australia and dealing with lots of bugs and extremely bad wifi, I can finally make this post live!

This post has been in the works for a while and I’m so excited to finally post it.

I read The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Wood late last year – read all my thoughts about it here! – and it stayed with me, reigniting my love of Middle-Grade fiction.

Having an MA in Publishing I’ve learnt so much about publishing, authors and the publishing process. So when I got the opportunity to ask the author of this wonderful debut, Samuel J. Halpin, some questions about what it was like to get published, his inspiration and what his plans might be for the future, I was jumped at it. Hearing a debut author’s side of this process intrigued me so much.

I can’t thank Samuel J. Halpin enough for giving his time and answering my questions!

1. Was the journey to the publication of Peculiar Peggs everything you expected it to be?

It was more! More heart-pounding, more nail-biting and many more indescribable sensations of complete wonder. In short: more everything. You keep thinking that you’ve had the final excitement out of seeing your book published, but then you’ll spot it on a table or a shelf in a shop and you feel that same sense of bewilderment and disbelief all over again!

2. In your author bio, it mentions being raised on a “hodgepodge” of fairytales. Is there any specific one that had a heavy influence on Peculiar Peggs?

I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint one in particular, but there were lots of legends and fables that I came across about the White Cliffs that ended up inspiring some of the details of the actual fairytale in the book.

3. What made you make the leap to become a Middle-Grade author?

It was less a leap and more of a slow creep. I’ve been writing ever since I was very little and have always harboured a longing to become an author. So to finally be able to say in all honesty that I am ‘an author’ feels pretty bloomin’ lovely.

4. What are some of the highlights of being an author?

Meeting people who have read your book is just…beyond words. Especially when they’ve picked up key details and share with you their intimate understanding of the characters. Oh! And receiving drawings and letters from kids in the post is another true highlight. Some of them are genuinely bonkers.

5. Are there any other age-ranges or genres you would like to explore as an author in the future?

I’d love to explore the YA side of things definitely. I don’t know if I have the aptitude to tell adult stories though…I think I’m too much of an inner child for that.

6. I know I have my favourite moment in the Peculiar Peggs, but do you have one?

I think one of my favourite moments is at the doctor’s surgery when Erasmus licks the page of the book. It perfectly describes him for me.

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