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Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Next Big Thing - Pippa Goodhart

This week I'm delighted to welcome Pippa Goodhart as a guest on my blog as part of The Next Big Thing, where authors answer questions about their latest work or work in progress.
So, over to Pippa:

What is the title of your next book?

 ‘Finding Fortune’

Where did the idea for the book come from?

My mother had a family ring that always intrigued me.  It was a Victorian golden ring set with a bit of quartz stone through which ran a streak of natural gold.  It had, I was told, been given to my great great grandmother by her brother who had brought it back from the Klondike. 
So I started reading about the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush …..

What genre does your book fit into?

Historical adventure for readers of about eight to twelve.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Well, I’d certainly want Maggie Smith to play Grandmama, even though I had written that character before Downton Abbey hit our television screens!  Fa and Ida I would like played by brilliant actors I’d never seen in anything before so that I could truly believe that they were those characters.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Escaping stuffy family expectations, Ida runs away with Fa to travel many thousands of dangerous miles in a search for gold, but also a search for a life for their little family now that Mama has died.

How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Gosh, I’m not sure!  I did so much research and note-making, then wrote with false starts before even getting to writing the first draft, but it certainly took (enjoyable) months and months.

Will your book be self-published or are you represented by an agency/publishers?

It is to be published by Catnip in March 2013.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I suppose my own ‘Raven Boy’ was similarly an adventure based on real history, although that book is set in 1666 London, with plague and the Great Fire, and the ravens at The Tower. 

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The ‘what’ would be that golden ring.  The ‘who’ would be the important people in my life who believe that my writing is worthwhile.

What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

I discovered so much of interest when researching the Klondike Gold Rush that I was in danger of over-stuffing the story with facts.  My way around that problem was to have Ida writing occasional letters to Grandmama back home, telling odd and interesting  and funny details that she thinks will amuse or impress the old lady.  She doesn’t tell Grandmama that she gets chased by a bear!

Over a hundred thousand people set off to find Klondike gold, most travelling many thousands of miles, going into completely wild, almost Arctic, terrain.  Each had to carry a ton of goods on which to live once they got into the Klondike.  They scaled mountains, made their own boats, then sailed and rowed and poled those boats down rapids and rivers for thousands of miles as the ice broke in the spring …. Giving them just a short sub-Arctic summer in which to pan and dig and sift for gold before winter closed in again.  Crooks and heroes, innocents and hardened adventurers all went, and so did women and some children. 
A big thank-you to Pippa for telling us all of this and roll on March 2013, the publication date of Finding Fortune. I can't wait to read it from cover to cover. If you want to know more about Pippa's books check out her website at


  1. I can't wait to read it either. It's a brilliant story, Pippa.

  2. Thanks, Ros! I've just been doing copy-edit tweaks, and horrified to find the dinner gong going 'boing!' instead of 'bong!', and the like! Hopefully all will be sorted. And the good news is that I've got the treat of maps in the book.