Book Launch: How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People), by Alette J. Willis – 2011 Kelpies Prize-winner

Thursday was the launch for this year’s Kelpies Prize-winning book: How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People), by Alette J. Willis (Floris Books)- you might remember, I met Alette at Linlithgow Book Festival.

Imaginatively hosted by Floris Books, the launch was quirky, informal and good-humoured. Importantly,  it was really well-attended.

Well, who could resist the Golem-themed food & drink?

How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) is Edinburgh-based Alette’s first children’s book. In her introduction, Alette talked about how she’s been writing for ten years working with a critique group online and via skype, but that it was working to the deadline of the Kelpies Prize – from September to February, that gave her the impetus to complete the typescript in just five months.

The story ‘came to her’, she said, while she was sitting with her dog under her favourite tree on Corstorphine hill’ – where some of the action takes place.

How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People) fuses Scottish legend and European folklore and taps into Alette’s academic research on story, identity and ethics as well as her work as a volunteer Talking Trees Storyteller at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Chani McBain of Floris Books said that Golem

won the judges’ hearts with its quirky storyline, engaging voice, sparkling sense of humour — and giant mud monster!

The book is thoughtfully illustrated by  Nicola L. Robinson, who found it  ‘very funny’.

Here’s the tempting taster in the publisher’s blurb:

“You think you’re a fairy godmother or something?” I asked.
“Or something,” Michael agreed.
Edda is tired of her nickname, “Mouse”, and wants to be braver. But when her house is burgled on her twelfth birthday, Edda is more afraid than ever. That is until new boy Michael Scot starts school. There’s something peculiar — and very annoying — about know-it-all Michael. He claims to be a great alchemist who can help Edda overcome her fears by teaching her to build a golem.

But surely they can’t bring a giant mud monster to life? Can they?

Check out Alette’s author website for more information about her work with story and as a storyteller.

NOTE: The Kelpies Prize for 2012 is now open for entries. See the website for full details and terms and conditions.