Q. Why are your books by A L Bell & not Alison Bell?
A. My middle name is Linda and I thought AL scanned better.
Q. So, Alison, please tell us about the book.
A. the story teller is Mr Friedman. It's christmas Eve in the orphanage and the magical Mr Friedman weaves wonderful tales for the children, conjuring up exotic food for them and transporting them to far away places, enchanted forests, all the things children dream of.
Q. Is this your first publication and what made you put pen to paper?
A. This is my first publication although I have written two more books. I am hoping my second book will be published later this year in plenty of time for christmas, I started writing the stories when I was 18 and my father suggested I gather them together so I had to invent a linking character - Mr Friedman.
Q. I looked on line for any reviews but found none. Have you had any feedback and who is your worst critic?
A. I haven't had any feedback so far, only from friends and children who've read it. Adults take their time but children seem to race through it which is possibly a good sign. My father encouraged me to go for publication and acted as my editor and was therefore my sternest critic but also my keenest fan.
Q. Were you inspired by another author?
A. I suppose the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis were my biggest influence and encouraged me to try my hand at folk fantasy fiction. I also love the works of JRR Tolkien.
Q. I know that you also play the guitar and sing (folk music you said) - what a talented lady. Any other hidden talents?
A. Yes I sing and play folk music and I write my own songs which are inspired by the things I love (nature). I am also a graphic designer.
Q. Did you design the book cover or have any input?
A. No, I approached the Writers Guild who took the book on and have been a marvellous help with cover design, marketing etc. They have their own illustrator. He showed me his design for the book cover and immediately I knew it was perfect for the book.
I would like to finish up by saying this is my first visit to Scilly and I think it is absolutely beautiful with lovely scenery and friendly people.