I have just completed the first draft of ‘I am Alice’ which is to be published in June 2013. At the moment the book is in two halves. The first deals with some of Alice’s early training; the second with her journey into the dark to recover the third blade – that is necessary to complete the ritual that could finally destroy the Fiend.

 Here is an extract from the first section:

“Got work to do, we have - dark work,” Lizzie hissed, “Coven business. We drew straws and of the thirteen, mine was the shortest. The witch assassin is busy elsewhere, so down to me it is. I’m going to kill a spook. Deserves to die he does. We cursed him before but somehow he survived. Messed with us far too long and now he’s got it coming.”

Normally Grimalkin the Malkin clan’s witch assassin would have been sent off to deal with a clan enemy such as a meddling spook but someone had to do the job and Lizzie had been chosen. She must have seen the reluctance in my face and she scowled at me.

“Right, girl! You’ve asked enough questions and dawdled too long. On your feet or you’ll wish you’d never been born!” Lizzie said, stamping her foot. Immediately, nasty twitchy things with tentacles and sharp teeth began to form in the darkest corners of the room where the flickering light from the candle flame couldn’t reach

“They were ‘sprogs’ from the dark, new-born entities, still trying to understand who they were and what their place was. Lizzie could summon them to do her bidding and she was good at that: they could terrify, torment or even kill if there were enough of them. I shuddered with fear. If I didn’t get up right away the most powerful ones would get closer to me and start to nip and scratch. I’d have to close my mouth firmly and pinch my nostrils to stop one getting up my nose.

 So I closed the grimoire, Lizzie’s oldest book of spells, got up and pushed my stool underneath the table. As the sprogs started to fade away, I blew out the candle and followed her up the stairs."

 The section you have read will probably change – hopefully for the better. I meet my editor, Ruth, on Friday and we will discuss possible improvements. So we will see!

As I wait to begin Draft Two, I am already working on the final book in the Wardstone Series. I can’t tell you much about that but the first chapter’s title will probably be ‘The Spook’s Legacy’. As for the title of the actual book, I am still thinking. Later we may have a competition to guess the title I use.

 Best wishes,

Joseph Delaney