Ruth Hatfield lives in Cambridge, however as a field archaeologist she is often to be found in far flung locations around the world.

Ruth has been writing stories for most of her life, and what she loves most is to explore the way in which imagination gives limitless possibilities to make our own lives extraordinary.

In her spare time she eats books, gallops around on horses, pedals around on her bike and tries not to break too many bones.

 

The Book of Storms

Eleven-year-old Danny’s parents are storm chasers – which sounds fun and exciting, and it is, so long as you aren’t the son who has to wait behind at home. And one night, after a particularly fierce storm, Danny’s parents don’t come back.

Stranger still, the old sycamore tree in Danny’s yard seems to have been struck by lightning, and when he picks up a fragment of wood from the tree’s heart, he finds he can hear voices …including that of next door’s rather uppity cat, Mitzy. The stick is a taro, a shard of lightning that bestows upon its bearer unnerving powers, including the ability to talk with plants and animals – and it is very valuable. So valuable in fact, that it attracts the attention of a Sammael, an ancient figure of darkness and a buyer of souls. And he will do anything to get his hands on it…And so begins a dangerous and daring quest.

Danny, who is bewildered, alone and unaccustomed to acts of bravery must confront his fears, find his parents, and unravel the secrets of The Book of Storms…


The Colour of Darkness

Danny O’Neill hasn’t had a single good night’s sleep in the year since he discovered the book of storms. Exhausted and a social outcast, he wishes only to escape the shadowy figure of Sammael who controls his dreams and nightmares.

Cath Carrera, from the other side of town, dreams of escaping her brutish father and spiteful step-family. So when she meets Barshin, a talking hare who offers her protection from her dad’s latest violent rage, she doesn’t think twice about going with him. But she didn’t expect to find a place like Chromos: a vibrant, addictive dreamland built from her imagination, in all its colours.

In return for his protection, Barshin wants Cath to deliver a message to Danny: he must rescue his cousin Tom from Sammael before it is too late.

Together, the three must find a way to stop Sammael before he destroys Tom. But even with the help of talking plants and creatures, and a friendly stag, the journey to Chromos and beyond is a dangerous, near-impossible mission, and Danny and Cath will have to muster every scrap of bravery and ingenuity to have a hope of succeeding.

 

The course was so useful. I feel equipped with so many new skills and tools to work with.

- Ruth Hatfield