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Former Upminster schoolgirl fairy happy about new fantasy novel

PUBLISHED: 13:18 06 November 2013 | UPDATED: 13:18 06 November 2013

Julie signs copies of her first children's book The Magical Gate at Waterstones

Julie signs copies of her first children's book The Magical Gate at Waterstones

Archant

An author is feeling out of this world after the launch of her first book - a fantasy novel - inspired by her dad's bedtime tales.

Former Hall Mead student Julie Earle signed copies of children’s novel, The Magical Gate, last week, at the Croydon branch of Waterstones.

Julie, 37, formerly of Howard Road, Upminster, but now living in South Ockendon, Essex, said: “My father told me stories from his imagination when I was little which fed my imagination. As I grew up I then took my imaginative skills to school.”

After meeting her husband Stan, she co-ran his gym in Upminster, where the couple would help people in weight training, before dedicating a year of her life to her novel.

“My passion for writing took over and I became a member of a freelance writing group which led me to want to write a novel,” she said.

The Magical Gate is the story of nine-year-old Amy who has been chosen to save Fairyland from the evil villain Shadow, whose trolls are stealing fairies and taking them to his castle.

Julie said: “I loved fairies and as a child I always wanted an adventure with one of the fairies my dad would speak about.”

A literary critic described the book as “fun, inventively staged, and narrated with a balanced mix of warmth, atmosphere and narrative gusto.”

Around 100 people came to see Julie and get their books signed on Saturday, and the first 10 children to arrive were given a free Magical Gate t-shirt.

Julie said: “The whole day was brilliant and a lot of people said a lot of nice things.”

The sequel to The Magical Gate has already been written and is to be released in the next couple of years.

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