Once in a while a book comes along at just the right time and gives you the very thing you need and for me, ‘We Won An Island,’ did just that. Charlotte’s debut novel is a wonderfully uplifting read that filled my heart with joy! Luna’s family is in crisis, her dad is depressed and her family is threatened with her eviction for failing to pay the rents. So when she spots a competition from a benevolent billionaire to win his island, she thinks this is the perfect way to save her family. But winning the competition is not the instant solution she thinks it will be. Island life turns out to have it’s own challenges and things don’t go exactly to plan. Cue one secret festival which is bound to win over the locals and help bring dad out of the depths of his grief. I loved the wildness and freedom of island life that was reminiscent of stories I adored growing up. You can’t help but get attached to Luna and her family and are cheering from the side lines desperately hoping for a happy ending. Charlotte deftly mixes humour and heart in this fun-filled and thoughtful tale.
I am thrilled to have Charlotte on the blog today with a special guest post on what she would do if she won her own island.
What I’d do if I won my own island – Charlotte Lo
The first thing I’d do is ship a flock of chickens to the island. I am completely obsessed with them. While most people are either a dog or cat person, I’m a chicken one. Such is my love for them that I’ve even been known to watch chicken agility videos on Youtube.
My grandparents owned a small holding when I was growing-up, and I used to take eggs home after visits, and try to hatch them in the airing cupboard. I do not recommend trying this, because not only does it not work, but the eggs will invariably get broken, and your socks will smell of rotten yolks for weeks.
Our garden isn’t particularly chicken friendly at the moment, so despite having convinced by husband to build a chicken palace in anticipation of their eventual arrival, my chicken fancying is still the stuff of dreams. If I had my own island though… well, anyone within a 50 mile radius (on land or sea) would never be short of eggs.
I would learn to surf. People who surf always look so cool, like they spend their entire lives at the beach, eating shrimp burgers, and having perfectly immobile hair despite the sea breeze. I want to be like that! Although, I am thoroughly aware that I am the epitome of uncool. One of my hobbies is reinventing slang words to annoy my husband, like changing “street” to “cul-de-sac”. The bigger his cringe, the more points I get.
I am also incredibly bad at most types of sport, apart from swimming. I once tried snowboarding, and went down the nursery slope sideways, before crashing in a plume of snow and people. Still, perhaps surfboarding would be different. I did yoga for a week once, so that’s bound to give me an advantage with the balancing.
The next thing I’d do is buy a karaoke machine, and sing Celine Dion songs until the early hours of the morning. Technically I could do this now, but would probably be arrested for anti-social behaviour and given an ASBO.
I love singing, but I’m too self-conscious / considerate to do it in public, so an island would be perfect. I could dance around with a microphone, pretending to be one of the guest acts on The X-Factor, but with only the seals and gulls to judge.
Another thing I’d do is hold a children’s book festival, mostly so I could meet all my favourite writers and fan girl after them (and, being on an island, they’d have no means of escape until they’d signed my towering book collection, poor things). I would possibly combine it with a food festival, because I’m not sure there’s anything better than a beach full of authors and burritos.
The final thing I’d do is is instate an official island siesta between the hour of 12pm – 1pm. During that time it would be illegal for anyone to wake me up to demand cake, or ask me to fast-forward the boring bits of The Teletubbies, or help fish toys out of the dehumidifier. I would spend most of this siesta in a hammock, which would be strung on the beach, so I could watch the ships go by with one eye (I am incredibly nosy – people watching is one of my favourite hobbies) while my other eye sleeps. On particularly coffee-heavy days I would read instead, or jot ideas down in one of my many pretty notebooks (which would have had to arrive on their own boat given the vastness of their number).
So, there you have it: my island would consist of 200 pet chickens, Celine Dion karaoke, surfing authors, burritos, and regimented siestas on hammocks.
Thanks to Charlotte for this really insightful guest post, I love the idea of the book festival and I would happily volunteer my services as chief author looker after and food taster of course. ‘We Won An Island,’ is available to buy now online or from any good bookshop. If you want a sneak peek or would like to listen to the first chapter of the audio books, why not head over to the Nosy Crow website.