Ally Sherrick loves exploring ruined castles and decaying mansions and imagining what it must have been like to live in them without electricity and hot and cold running water – although she’s quite glad she doesn’t have to herself!

She has a BA in medieval history and French from the University of Newcastle and an MA in Writing for Children at the University of Winchester. She has spent most of her professional career working in public relations and marketing on a whole host of projects from the promotion of Britain to overseas visitors to science festivals and Olympics celebrations. Now, though, she is lucky enough to spend most of her time dreaming up characters and plots and getting them down on paper before they have a chance to escape.

She is married and lives with her husband and assorted garden wildlife in Farnham, Surrey. BLACK POWDER is her first novel.

Black Powder

England, 1605.

12-year-old Tom must save his father from hanging. He falls in with a mysterious stranger – the Falcon – who promises to help in exchange for his service. But on the long journey to London, Tom discovers the Falcon’s true mission – and a plot to blow up Parliament with barrels of black powder.

Tom faces a terrible decision: secure his father’s release, or stop the assassination of the king …

Both PJ and Amy were fantastic – very encouraging, open and supportive. So pleased to have been able to attend the course.

- Ally Sherrick