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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Author Spotlight - HannahRaeSong

Keep Calm and Carry On

Violet is alone. In another country, in the middle of a war. Her task is simple, but has she made a big mistake?


1. Please tell the readers a bit about yourself.

I am 18, from England, and heading to university next year to study

English Literature. Apart from reading and writing, I can often be found singing, especially folk music or songs from musicals. At the moment, I am obsessed with Les Miserables and Matilda the Musical!

2. What types of books do you write?

Anything that pops into my head really, I don’t tend to think about the genre. Keep Calm and Carry On is a sort of mystery/spy book but I don’t actually read much of that genre so it surprised me a bit that I ended up writing one. The first chapter was originally a short story for a competition, and I enjoyed writing it so I decided to see what happened to Violet next!

3. How many books have you written?

Not very many- I have ideas but I rarely actually write the whole book. Miss Havisham is my completed short story, and Keep Calm and Carry On is the book I am still working on at the moment. I am a bit of a perfectionist so it takes me a while to be happy with what I have written!

4. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

I am about to go and see Despicable Me 2 this afternoon, which I am really looking forward to! I would like to read ‘Perfect’ by Rachel Joyce, because I loved reading her first book ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’.

5. What type of books do you enjoy reading?

I find this question really tricky because I love all types of books. I am reading Les Miserables at the moment, and I have just finished reading Lady Audley’s Secret- but I also love lots of other books. Debi Gliori’s Pure Dead books and all of Roald Dahl’s are some of my favourites, and of course Harry Potter!

6. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

1.  My family and friends
2. The Bodleian library
3.  Tea (oh, and food might be useful too…)

7. Are you considering a sequel?

I haven’t finished the book yet, so I haven’t thought about it- I will see how it goes…

8. What inspired you to become a writer?

I don’t remember ever not wanting to be a writer, so I am not really sure. Many books have inspired me- I suppose loving reading makes writing a natural step really. 


Violet walks down the street. She carries a handbag which contains coded messages. As Violet works, she is constantly on high alert. Her neck aches from twisting around too often to check no-one is following her. As she passes a shop window, she glances at it to check she is not being followed.

She rounds the corner. There are two routes she could take- one is much quicker, so she could complete her task faster. She is reluctant to take this route, as it goes down a small alley.

She decides to turn into the alley, get it over with. She is not safe anywhere, so she might as well. There is no-one there.

Her heels make a fresh, satisfying sound as they clop against the cobbles. Her breath is quick, shallow, afraid. The narrow walls feel too close together, squashing her, making the air around her feel more compressed, harder to breathe. She shakes her head- what nonsense! She reminds herself that she is an intelligent, capable adult and should be rational. She has greater things to fear than small spaces. Claustrophobia is not a commonly appreciated characteristic in a spy. She almost laughs at this thought, but laughter is such an alien thing to her now.

Two more feet and she'll be out into the open street again. She realises she has been tensing her shoulders, and they relax a little as her mind wanders back to England, back to feeling safe. One more step.

A hand clasps her shoulder.

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