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Hampton and Tate: A Double Bill of Purple Out Soon!

Front cover of Flashback and Purple by Sue HamptonIt has been all hands to the printing presses for the past few weeks at Magic Towers!

Hot on the heels of releasing sustainable expert Elizabeth J Walker’s new title, The Resilience Handbook, we are very proud to announce the imminent arrival of two more books on our shelf; official publication date Monday 12th October 2015.

Sue Hampton presents a fantastic new title called Flashback and Purple and interestingly enough, it isn’t for her usual market of children; this is very much an adult read and it is being met with rousing applause.

Sue explains, “It’s not easy to make a living as an author in a book world that can be cruel and is certainly ruled by the bottom line. In an hour’s audience a few years ago with the Children’s Fiction Editor at the biggest publisher in the country I was told, in the end, that my range was very impressive but they “wouldn’t know how to brand me.”

I don’t want to be branded. I write in different styles exploring different kinds of story – dark and light, funny and very serious, historical and futuristic as well as contemporary – because that’s fun, and exciting. I’d hate to be limited to the same genre or audience or even keep revisiting the same characters. I like to think I have stories for everyone, I’m doing what I love and of course I’m learning all the time.”

We certainly don’t want to label her either! Sue is an incredibly talented and versatile writer who manages to engage whichever readership she sets out to entertain. She has broken the mould spectacularly with Flashback and Purple and is currently on The Purple Tour with husband Leslie Tate, who has simultaneously released his first title with Magic Oxygen too.

The cover of Lavender Blues: three shades of love - Purple by Leslie TateHis book has a colourful link to Sue’s latest read, however, its title is quite incidental.

Purple is the first of a gripping trilogy by Leslie and the series is called Lavender Blues: three shades of love. It will be followed by Violet and Blue in due course.

Leslie studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and has previously been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes.  He runs a comedy club, a poetry group and a unique mixed arts show in his home town of Berkhamsted in the UK.

Leslie explains, “From an early age I wrote stories in my head. Lying awake in my bedroom, I imitated the voices of neighbours. My garden was an unexplored territory full of travellers’ tales and crazy adventures. At school I wrote wild, escapist, poetic short stories. When I was invited to read out a particularly heightened descriptive piece to the class, my beautiful words earned me threats and punches in the playground.

Boys those days from the North of England needed to knuckle down and get a real job – writing was absurd and my fancy-pants words were girlie and stuck up. I read about Shelley being bullied at school and fixed my sights on being a Romantic poet. I remember reading Ode to the West Wind full volume into a tape recorder in the front room. My parents ignored my declamatory shouts, thinking I’d soon grow out of it.

At university in the 60s I was still composing in my head. I’d decided to wait till inspiration struck because then, I imagined, the writing would flow, composing itself in a fine frenzy like Handel’s Messiah. In the meantime I’d ‘warehouse’ experience, noting everything around me on a kind of endless microfiche running through my head. I believed that when I was older I’d play it back and my film would translate onto the page as a vivid, deeply-personal autobiography. I read Joyce, Lawrence, Blake and German Expressionist writers.”

After two divorces and a successful struggle with alcohol addiction, his life turned around when he met and married Sue Hampton, the prolific children’s writer. Together, they give talks and workshops to schools, library and writers’ groups and perform at festivals, using music and pictures to enthuse their audience for different types of writing.

Sue Hampton and Leslie Tate are a formidable pair of accomplished writers. They compliment each other remarkably well and are delightful company to be in.

For more details about Sue and Leslie, click on their names to hop straight onto their respective websites and to order their books, place an order in your favourite local book store or visit the Magic Oxygen shop.

The Team