I am delighted to be kicking off the Alfie Bloom tour for the release of The Talisman Thief! A very happy release day to Gabrielle and Alfie. If you haven’t already picked up a copy, or pre-ordered, then I highly recommend you do!
Gabrielle has very kindly talked about the top five things about Alfie Bloom for today’s guest post. After reading and enjoying both the books, I found this really interesting and I hope you will too!
Top Five Things About Alfie
by Gabrielle Kent
Alfie was born during a magical timeslip which had temporarily transported his parents back 600 years. The strange circumstances regarding his birth gave Alfie the ability to slip between the two time periods he belongs to, although time keeps ticking in the future while he’s in the past. It only happens rarely and accidentally at first but he begins to learn to control it in later books. The third in the series is set mainly over the course of a visit to the 1400s. I do sometimes regret introducing an element of time travel as it poses so many problems, even down to figuring out the currency in 1416 and the cost of a horse. Whenever Alfie timeslips I’m left wracking my brain to think of ways to stop him using the ability to solve his problems too easily!
Thanks to Orin Hopcraft, the last of the great druids, Alfie finds himself the owner of his own castle, the very castle he was born in. Hexbridge Castle was built by Orin using magical means and the building is full of secret passages, hidden towers and wonderful secrets which will continue to be revealed across the series. In the first book, The Secrets of Hexbridge Castle, Alfie struggle to protect a dark secret which he discovers buried deep below the castle’s labyrinthine cellars.
The ancient magic
The castle wasn’t the only thing Alfie inherited from Orin. He is also the guardian of a hugely powerful and ancient magic. Orin passed the magic into Alfie soon after birth in order to remove it from his own time period where it was being sought by a terrible druid who wanted to use it for his own nefarious ends. This isn’t a magic that can be used without consequences, it can create almost anything you desire but to do that it must feed on energy, whether heat, other magic, or even life itself – you can see why it had to be hidden!
The Ocular talisman
Alfie wears a small round gold talisman covered in spiralling runes with a purple lens at its centre. It has many purposes. It allows him to read hidden messages and to open hidden doors, but most importantly it serves to hide and restrain the magic inside of Alfie as he grows older. Without it the magic is almost impossible to control when he is in danger. On the few occasions when Alfie is forced to use the magic, the talisman controls and focuses it. The lens in the centre of the talisman has a story of its own and we discover its origin in The Talisman Thief.
The Alfie that nearly was…
Many things changed about Alfie as I was writing. He originally had two different coloured eyes, one of which allowed him to see things as they really are, however, an agent I spoke to asked me if I realised just how many characters in children’s books had that very quirk. I hadn’t, but now I see them everywhere! Now the talisman helps Alfie to see through deception instead.
As I was trying to get published I started to wonder why I had chosen to write about a boy, why not a girl who inherited a castle? I was just about to rewrite the whole novel with Alfie as a girl when Scholastic told me they wanted to publish it. I decided not to make the change, but my first non-Alfie novel will definitely feature a heroine!
Finally, Alfie was originally called Archie, but with an Archie Green series just about to launch I was asked to think of another name. I pinched the name Alfie from a friend’s son and now I can’t imagine him being called anything else.
Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief is out now! If you want to find out more about the book, check it out on Goodreads. I’m sure you guys will fall in love with it 🙂