Teens' Book of the Month: Walking Mountain
Book: Walking Mountain by Joan Lennon | Age Category: 12+
Join our 2017 Scottish Teenage Book Prize-shortlisted author Joan Lennon for an epic adventure in her new novel, Walking Mountain!
Since before Pema was born, the mountain has moved slightly Northwards every year; but now, it has started to move South. Pema doesn’t understand what this means, but he is tasked with passing the information on to the wise White Women at the top of the mountain, who should know what to do. When they refuse to believe him, his simple task becomes a challenging quest across unknown lands to stop the mountain in its tracks before it’s too late!
By creating an intriguing world somewhere between the strange and the familiar and executing a gripping plot, Joan Lennon has produced a truly captivating read for adventure fans to devour.
Q&A with Joan Lennon
The unique and magical setting for this book is central to the story. Which comes first for you – the setting or the plot?
For me, it's usually the setting and the characters that come first. In my mind, I see a scene really clearly - a scene here and a scene there - and then I sew them all together when I have enough pieces. I have a rough idea of the plot too, but the details come from the characters and the setting. For example, in Walking Mountain, I just knew that in a town like River Head, with all its unpleasant people and rigid religion and general squalor, there was going to be trouble for my characters. I just had to figure out what kind of trouble it was going to be, and how they'd deal with it!
If you could go on an adventure with any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Oh - so many! Swiss Family Robinson, because I want to live in their amazing treehouse. Mark Watney (The Martian) because I want to stand on a new planet. Granny Weatherwax from the Terry Pratchett books, because I want to be her. Come to think of it, it's kind of what reading is, isn't it - going on an adventure with a fictional character!
Do you have any tips for aspiring young writers?
Writers, especially new writers, worry that they're not writing something original. That if somebody else wrote a book about alien kangaroos, then they can't. But no two writers are ever going to write the same story. If you're writing out of your own head, and not just copying what you think the story should be, yours will be unique, because the inside of your head is unique. So my tip is - be brave, stop fussing and just go for it.
We have 5 copies of Walking Mountain to be won! To be in with a chance of winning one, just answer the question below. The competition closes on Monday 31 July 2017 at 5pm. All entrants must reside in the UK.