Solihull's answer to the hugely successful Twilight series, Pat Spence, has published her own fantasy trilogy.
Described as ‘a book for Twilight fans who want a change from vampires’, Blue Moon is the author’s first novel and book number one in the Blue Crystal trilogy.
“When the Twilight series came out, I loved those books,” admitted the writer. “But I thought, there’s room for a British equivalent.
“Twilight was so huge, the kids just want more.”
Centred on our obsession with youth and beauty, it follows Emily who becomes intertwined with the mysterious Theo de Lucis who carries a dangerous and ancient secret.
“It’s a mixture between a love story, a horror story and a social commentary, with a few little snippets of English Literature,” said Spence, a former magazine editor from Hampton-in-Arden.
“We’re in a society that’s obsessed with ageing. It’s affecting kids younger and younger, I even saw something on ‘teen-toxing’, teenage kids going for botox.
“With so many potions and lotions, we’re obsessed with the desire to keep looking young. The book plays on that.”
Spence admitted it would be “just fantastic” to become the British Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight), “but it would still be amazing if it became a best seller,” she added.
Despite its similarities to the Twilight series, Blue Crystal does not involve vampires, but Theo and his family’s supernatural powers took inspiration from Victorian writer H. Rider Haggard’s novel, She.
“I first became aware of She when I was ten, and I was hooked by the idea,” said the author, who is in her mid-fifties.
“It’s all about this woman, who’s thousands of years old, and bathes in the fires of eternal youth.
“I always knew that story would be important to me.”
Spence has been writing for 20 years but this is the first time she has been able to secure a publishing deal.
“I could wallpaper a room with the rejection letters,” she joked. “You have to have absolute tenacity.”
Blue Moon, published by Hashtag Books, is available in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.
Spence is now working on her follow-up, True Blue, which is due to be published in the summer.