This week sees the publication of St. Mallory’s Forever!, a four-author collaboration between 17-year-old student Charley Robson, from Sherborne Girls school in Dorset,
16-year-old Miriam Joy from Bexley Heath, and a best-selling writing partnership of London-based Sarah Griffiths and Africa-based Mark Williams, under the pseudonym Saffina Desforges. The 80,000-word novel has been written and edited entirely by email exchange across two continents (three if you include the American ebook cover designer and the Canadian print-cover designer).
Set in a modern-day girls’ private school in Brighton, and described as “Nancy Drewe goes to boarding school”, St. Mallory’s Forever! is a tale of high jinx and derring-do as three very different pupils come together to solve a girls’ own mystery.
Says co-author Charley Robson, who is currently studying for her A levels at Sherborne Girls: “I remember finding a whole set of Malory Towers in the spare room when I was 11 and reading one after the other; my only criticism is that they were never long enough! St. Mallory’s Forever! aims to revive the girls’ boarding school genre which has been on the verge of dying out. It starts with one of the characters, 14-year-old Helen Shroud, getting the biggest culture shock of her life when she wins a scholarship to a girls’ boarding school and meets Abby, who is assigned to look after her. Without giving too much away, a mystery develops involving a suspicious-looking bursar.”
Mark Williams, co-author and professional writer, says: “Charley and Miriam have met only once in real life, and neither Sarah nor I have ever met the girls, yet somehow we have managed, across two continents and between GCSEs and A levels, to produce a really absorbing young adult novel, the first of a series, set in an English girls’ boarding school. Charley and Miriam have both been a delight to work with, ever consummate professionals.”
Sherborne Girls headmistress Jenny Dwyer adds: “We are incredibly proud of what Charley has managed to achieve. Charley hopes to study English literature at university after her A levels and go on to be a professional writer one day, so this is just the start she needs to set her on the path to future publishing success.”
St. Mallory’s Forever! paperback is published on February 15 and available through Amazon. It can also be downloaded through Amazon’s Kindle online (priced £1.99), and will shortly be available as an ebook on all major ebook retailers including Apple iTunes, Waterstone’s, Foyles and Tesco.