Joseph Delaney is a full time writer living in Lancashire, in the heart of Boggart territory. He first got the idea for the Wardstone Chronicles series when he moved to the village where he lives now and discovered there was a local boggart - ‘a man like me needs boggarts around’. He made a note in his notebook ‘a story about a man who hunts boggarts’ and years later when he had to come up with an idea at short notice developed this into ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’, the first book in the series.
He continues to draw upon the folklore of Lancashire and has acquired much local knowledge over the years which he tweaks and modifies to create his fictional world. Another source of inspiration has been Lancashire’s varied and atmospheric landscape. Many of the locations in the County are based on actual places in Lancashire.
In the early days of his writing career Joseph worked as a teacher at a Sixth Form College: his subjects were English, Film and Media Studies. He used to get up early and write every morning before work. That way he could write a book a year – which promptly got rejected! When the Americans bought the series he decided to give up teaching and write full time.
Prior to teaching he worked as an engineer in his twenties, completing an apprenticeship just like Tom Ward in the spook’s books.
Joseph describes his method of writing as a process of discovery. He doesn’t plot too far ahead and often doesn’t know what is going to happen until he writes it down. In other words he makes it up as he goes along. He prefers writing dialogue to description, in which he says he is a minimalist and leaves much to the reader’s imagination.
He has a new series underway, Arena 13. This is a complete departure from the world of ghosts, ghasts and boggarts and centres on a young boy called Leith and surprisingly, an Arena and an evil creature called Hob.
Joseph has three children and nine grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events.
The Spook's Apprentice, The Spook's Curse and The Spook's Secret have all been shortlisted for the Lancashire children's Book for the Year Award. The Spook's Apprentice is the winner of both the Sefton Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.
from publisher's website
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