Ilkley Literature Festival

I was at Ilkley Literature Festival last week on a panel chaired by Dawn Cameron (left) and with writer and poet, Carmen Marcus. It was particularly poignant for me as, from the age of eight, I lived  on either side of Ilkley Moor, and The Stolen Child is set in Ilkley.

 

I read a couple of extracts from The Stolen Child and we discussed adoption, the themes of race and class in the book, as well as, of course(!) Wuthering Heights.

 

I’ll be doing a number of events over the next couple of months in Bristol and London if you can join me there! And if you have any writing questions for me, I’ll do my best to answer them!

 

 

 

 

Ilkley Literature Festival

I’m delighted I’m going to be speaking at the Ilkley Literature Festival this year.

I grew up on either side of Ilkley Moor, and my second thriller, The Stolen Child, is set in Ben Rhydding, in Ilkley.

 

 

I’ll be in conversation with fellow author, Carmen Marcus, author of How Saints Die. I do hope you can join us.

It’s on Sunday 8 October at 4.30 pm at St Margaret’s Church, Ilkley. Just enough time for a quick romp across the moor beforehand! Tickets on sale from the box office.

 

 

Behind the scenes: Filming The Stolen Child trailer

I thought you might like to see what went on behind the scenes when we were filming The Stolen Child trailer! The crew and I all live in the south-west, and it was going to be too tricky to get us all to Ilkley, West Yorkshire, where The Stolen Child is set…so we decided to use Porlock common, a heathland in Somerset, to stand in for Ilkley moor.

 

 

Here’s our actor, Ela Chia Gutierrez, playing Evie, being filmed by Director of Photography, Rob Franklin.

We wanted to start with Evie, who is a happy contented child, until she receives a sinister card… We planned to film this in a playground in Porlock – but when we arrived, it had been closed the night before as a piece of equipment was unsafe to use. Ah, the best laid plans.

We ended up filming next to some toilets in a car park… So glamorous!

 

 

Here’s Ela being lit by our camera assistant, Zoe Masters. Evie has just spotted a card left for her.

Hello my darling, 

I’m your real father. I’ve been searching for you ever since you were stolen from me. I love you so much. 

Daddy 

 

When we filmed on the common, aka, Ilkley moor, Ela dressed in a Princess Elsa dress and had to run across the heath –

 

 

– with my mobile taped on her back so we could tell her when she needed to STOP, and come back to us. We used a drone camera, operated by Jack Stevenson, to try and capture the feeling of isolation, wilderness and fear that Evie must have felt when she was lost on the moor…

 

 

I love this place. I love this land. It’s part of me, it’s part of who I am. But it’s no place for you: a seven-year-old girl in a princess costume. 

 

 

Here’s Rob and Jack operating the drone, filming Ela as she sprints across the moor.

Rob and Zoe then drove up to Ilkley moor and filmed a few shots to drop into the trailer to give that feeling of authentic wilderness.

 

 

The dark edge of the moor and the Cow and Calf rock are crisp against the blue-black sky. I can’t see anyone outside, watching us. As I shut the door behind me, I hear a noise. It came from the hall. I feel the hairs rise on the back of my neck. 

 

Let me know what you think! Here’s the finished trailer: