Elemental

Published in April 2014

What's It About?

 

After his parents’ unexpected move to the small village of Rooksbourne, Tom Allenby acquires a mysterious stone giving him powers over natural elements. He is soon under attack from enlarged animals, vicious plants and dead birds brought back to life.  The more he tries to find out what is happening, the more dangerous his life becomes as he is plunged into an incredible adventure.
With new friends Amber – an older girl with a mystery of her own to solve- and Kyle – a lonely boy eager for excitement- Tom has to battle powerful forces to try and stop a threat to the whole world while seeking the truth behind the village.
Mixing adventure, fantasy and mystery Elemental is the exciting and incident packed first story in the Heart of the World books.
Join Tom Allenby at the start of an amazing journey in the most fresh and imaginative children’s fantasy series in years!
 

 

 

 

 

Elemental Promotional

I did some fun online promotional stuff for Elemental in 2014 including some interviews for the book. Click on the links in bold to see these:

 

 

 

Background Notes (Spoiler Warning!)

Best read after you've read the book!

 

  • I started the first version of the book in 2003 and completed it in 2005. It was longer than the published version and had quite a different plot.

  • Since then there have been four completed versions, each one with variations to the plot.

  • To show how different they were the original versions didn’t include Kyle Marshall, Lord Pennington, Mrs Brackley, Ravensthorpe or Izzy. Tom was only 11 and had a younger brother.

  • In the later version Tom’s age was increased to 12 and then 13 so he was only two years younger than Amber and Jake. I didn’t think 15 year olds would really want to talk to 11 year olds!

  • The Earthstone is based on a real stone called Snowflake Obisidian which you can see and even buy at the Natural History Musuem in London.

  • In the first version, Tom’s father was a construction manager who moved the family to the village because he was in charge of building a large shopping complex which the residents did not agree with.

  • There were also topiary hedge figures that moved around when nobody was looking. The mystery began when the Allenby’s neighbour was attacked by one of these which had started to come to life because of the elemental power in the area.

  • The name Rooksbourne comes from a real place called Ravensbourne which I liked the name of when I saw it on a notice board in a train station. I changed it to Rook which sounds more mysterious and then used the Raven bit to name the big estate in the book.

  • The house which the Allenbys move into is based on a real house in a village where I stayed several times back in the 1980s. It was built by an architect so contains a lot of unusual features.

  • The village itself is similar to the one described in the book except there were no woods and no large estate nearby.

  • The book had to be changed several times due to advances in technology; when it was first written not many people had a mobile phone and smartphones didn’t exist! 

  • While completing Elemental I also wrote story lines for several sequels. 

  • The book’s title has changed several times. It was going to be called Heart of the World but then I thought that would be a better name for the series. It was also called The Green Boy for a while.

 

Deleted Scenes

(Click on title to open document in separate window)

 

Original Opening Sequence

This was the first completed version of the opening of the book which I really liked but unfortunately it alerts Tom that something weird is happening while he is still in London. Also, I felt it was better to start the story once he'd arrived in Rooksbourne. Written in about 2006.

 

Original Opening Sequence #2
Thinking of a way to open a novel is difficult and this is one that went nowhere! It is actually not based on anything that happens in the book itself but a prologue that wasn't necessary. Written in 2009.

 

First meeting with Amber old version

This is similar to the book but I changed some of the dialogue. This is from about 2005.

 

The Post Office

You can tell how long ago this was written by the fact it takes place in a Post Office which most villages in England no longer have. It's a fun scene but didn't really advance the plot so had to go. Nowdays the Murgatroyds own a general store instead. Written in 2004.

 

Madelaine Brackley and Stubbs

Mrs Brackley used to be someone else entirely! Head of an investigative team sent to Rooksbourne with her assistant Stubbs. They park up in a large vehicle pretending to do a survey when really they are up to no good. This is from the first completed version of the book from 2004.

 

Giant Worm Attack!

Originally Amber was with Tom when he is attacked by the giant worm as this scene shows but I re-arranged the plot later and Tom ended up on his own. I like the scene though because it shows Amber is quite brave; she seems more excited than scared by what's happening.

 

Strange!

This small bit from the original 2004 text shows how the book was oringally aimed at a younger readership. Fun but too tame! Replaced later by giant animals tearing things down!

 

Jake and his father

This is deleted from the book but I think it still happens. The reason I cut it is because there were too many closing scenes in the last chapter and it didn't flow well enough. Also it starts to hint at Jake's character journey going forward and I felt that could wait till the seond book as Tom is the main character so has priority.  It was disappointing to lose it though as I'm quite proud of it.

 

Rewrite notes 2009

Just some of the notes I made when i overhauled the story in 2009.