Moor inspires new children’s book

By Newsdesk   |   Newsdesk   |
Saturday 23rd October 2021 3:00 pm
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Susan J Barrett ()

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A DEVON author has set her latest book within Dartmoor National Park

Locations including Brat Tor, Widgery Cross, Great Torrington Common and Northam Burrows feature in the exciting new children’s thriller: Layla Garina and the Aidan Initiative.

It’s the second instalment in Susan J Barrett’s sci-fi series about the adventures of Layla, a 10-year-old human clone and her friends. 

The Aidan Initiative centres around an imagined, top-secret underground facility below Brat Tor called ‘The Widgery Rooms’, built to protect cloned children with special abilities.

It follows on from Susan’s first book: Layla Garina and the Second Chance Agency.

Locals will identify many of the landmarks that appear in the story, including the ruins of the mine captain’s cottage that lie behind Brat Tor.

In the book, the captain’s cottage houses the secret entrance to the Rooms.

There are nods to a local pub and near-by camp site, and Susan also appears to pay homage to a long-established North-Devon ice-cream company.

Susan, who lives in Torquay, said: ‘I have so many happy memories of this area.

‘My grandparents lived in Bideford and we spent wonderful summers on the endless beach at Northam Burrows. Scrambling over the pebble-ridge like a mountain goat was a skill my cousins and I learned at an early age, and we were always rewarded with an ice-cream from the local van at the end of a hot summer afternoon.’

It was another family tradition that inspired the Widgery Rooms.

‘Brat Tor (although we always called it Widgery Tor, because of the cross) was an annual pilgrimage for our Devon-based family,’ Susan explained.

‘It was the mid-point between us geographically, so perfect for a summer get-together. Family barbecues, swimming in the river Lyd, and of course, climbing to the top of the Tor to touch the cross, made an indelible imprint on my childhood.

‘It’s wonderful to be able to share a little of that in Layla’s story.’

Layla Garina and the Aidan Initiative is already available to pre-order from Amazon in ebook format and will also be available in paperback this week.

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