Hello and welcome to my site! I'm a dad, a husband, and a believer in things magical, which is why I love writing children's books.
Echo and the Magical Whispers and Lost Echo are books one and two in THE WHISPERS SERIES, a magical realism about elephants for children aged 9-12. As you may know, the outlook for African elephants is not great, given the poaching that is occurring. The WHISPERS books, written from the elephants' point of view, have a theme of conservation mixed in with the magic with profits going to Elephants For Africa, a registered charity in England & Wales and a registered NGO in Botswana.
Joe and the Ghoul is a magical realism about a modern day Dennis The Menace who meets a Ghoul and steps through a portal in his local art gallery into a world of fantasy (for children aged 9-12).
Billy and the Match Girl
When 12 year old Billy's Grandpa tells him about his Great Gran Milly contracting the dreaded bone disease, 'Phossy Jaw' in a Victorian match factory, he wishes he could fix things. But how? My latest story is an adventure with a magical twist!
* Long listed for the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) 2020 Writing for Children Competition.
Caleb and the Brass Ring
Caleb knows that the decaying German bunker at Rocquaine Bay on his island of Guernsey is haunted. Samuel Vogel, his nemesis at school, has told him. But when his Grandpa Berty hands him a brass ring that could have saved his Great Grandpa Alfred, a Spitfire pilot, from being shot down during World War 2, and learns of the arrest by the occupying Nazis of his Great Grandma Mary, Caleb knows he has to go back in time to fix things.
Accompanied by his beloved sheepdog, Twitchy, Caleb braves the ghost of ‘Herr Skull and Cross Bones’, emerging from the bunker to find himself back in 1940, days before the Germans will invade the island.
Now begins the tricky bit: persuading Mary and nine-year-old Berty (his Grandpa's younger self) to evacuate before the island is crawling with enemy soldiers, and then finding a way to hand the brass ring to Alfred at his air base on the mainland. All the while, keeping secret who he and Twitchy really are!
An except is included in the News section!
My books are available on Amazon under my personal imprint, Magic Ink Press. I am un-agented, but welcoming to an approach for new writing.
Comments/ reviews of my books are gladly received, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), social media (Facebook and Twitter links are below), or via Amazon!
Billy and the Match Girl
When 12 year old Billy's Grandpa tells him about his Great Gran Milly contracting 'Phossy Jaw' in a Victorian match factory, he wishes he could fix things. But how?
This latest story by Paul Haston is an adventure with a magical twist!
Long listed for the Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators & Performers (CANSCAIP) 2020 Writing for Children Competition.
1 THE START OF IT
The clock on our mantlepiece chimes and a shiver runs down my back. I often wonder about time. Ticking forward. Bringing change to our lives.
Like Grandpa’s story about Great Gran Milly and the Phossy Jaw; the bone disease that rotted the jaws of the workers in the old Bryant and May match factory. It should never have happened, he says. And wouldn’t have, if they hadn’t used the white phosphorus. The chemical they dipped the match sticks into, to make them burn at the ends.
Of course, that’s in the past. Today, it’s all different. Making matches is safe. But that doesn’t help Great Gran Milly does it? Not now. Not now the clocks have ticked forward for over a hundred years.
But the passing of time is not always for the better, is it? Take the highway above our roof. One day, the sky was clear, the sun shining through our windows. The next, vast cranes arrived at Lime Street. In the blink of an eye, a new highway appeared on metal pylons, people like me, Ma, Grandpa and sister, Lottie, breathing the fumes of the cars that rumbled across it.
Who were the lucky ones, there? Certainly not us. Living beneath a shadow. Although you could argue it’s better than working in a Victorian match factory, a stinking white haze making your jaw bone drop off.
“Billy, you’re under my feet,” Ma screeches, re-positioning the towel between our yellow stained window and its sill.
I pull a face. “It won’t work, Ma,” I say, trying to explain.
I’m met with a smile that is sharp around the edges.