About Gateway to Magic

Good hollow 3I get a lot of inspiration when I’m out walking the dogs.  For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by tree hollows, rock pools and other small spaces that could be full-sized homes, communities or even kingdoms for tiny magical beings.  I rarely take a notebook and pen, as the best ideas usually come when I’ve got no way of writing them down.    This isn’t much fun for the dogs, because when I have a good idea I have to get home immediately and get it down on paper.  Even if we’ve only been out for 10 minutes.

woodland-gateway-2In his excellent book ‘On Writing’, Stephen King explains how two totally unrelated ideas can come together and give birth to a story.  This is more or less what happened in the case of Gateway to Magic.  I was wandering through the woods with Millie and Pearl, idly picturing fairies in flowers and goblins in grottos, when I started thinking about a boy I knew who couldn’t bear to be parted from his games console, and… POW!  I saw him in Fairyland, surrounded by beauty and wonder and magic, but hating every minute because there were no video games.  I saw the disgusted expression on his face turn to one of horror as he realised he would have to use his own ingenuity to survive and get himself home.  There would be no controlling this dimension with a console!

Rock springI cut the walk short, rushed home and started writing the story of Steven Topcliff, a gaming fanatic who gets himself stuck in a dimension where all technology is banned by law.  On subsequent walks, further characters evolved: Tracy, the spiteful cousin who goads Steven into activating the inter-dimensional Gateway, Nigel the Nuisance, an out-of-control Shape Shifter who insists on being his best mate,  and the diva-like Fairy Queen who embroils him in some mysterious game of her own.

Now, many walks later, the whole story is available to read on Amazon, Smashwords, Apple iTunes, Kobo and Nook. Enjoy!

Amazon Reviews

Gateway to Magic by Annabelle Franklin was a cute, quick read with some valuable lessons within. I shared this book with my little ones, who absolutely loved it. From their point of view it was ‘awesome’. The author did a wonderful job of painting the scenes, making things very easy to visualise, most especially the Forest of Pointy Fingers! I love it when authors bring a story to life by word-painting, and Franklin doesn’t disappoint! Franklin’s Gateway to Magic is perfectly tailored to its target audience, as my brood can well attest. They all loved it, and we’ll be reading it again for sure! – J. Aislynn d’Merrickson for Readers’ Favorite 

I absolutely loved this story and have no doubt in my mind that young boys and girls will love it just as much if not even more… Gateway to Magic is beautifully written and full of childhood humour which had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion and there are also some valuable lessons to learn. – Kevin Cooper 

Even though this is a children’s book I did enjoy reading it to my daughter. The author has a really good imagination and I think a younger person would have been totally engrossed in the magical world of fairies and goblins. My daughter loved the Sock worms and Fairy queen. The characters and places are fun and certainly magical and even though Steven faces real danger he manages to get out of it. It gives the advice through way of punishment that if you do something wrong you should work out why it is wrong, learn from it and change yourself so you don’t do it again. – Angelbear 

As an English teacher to younger learners I will certainly be able to make use of this wonderful book in class. It’s very imaginative and fun for the teacher too. – Robert Shaw 

This story threw me back to Enid Blyton, but the snappy, witty dialogue gives a wink to adults reading it aloud. Fiction is compellingly woven as fact (yes, I believe!) and Annabelle knows what makes children laugh. I particularly liked the bit about being the age you want to be, the Forest of Pointy Fingers and the ShapeWatchers Program. – Susan Lattwein

My grandchildren absolutely love this book. Without giving too much away, our hero, the very modern game playing Steven, finds himself transported into a fairyland worthy of Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. A magical world ruled by a terrifying fairy queen. Will he – can he – get back to his own world? Finding out led to exciting bedtime story sessions and cries of “just one more page”. This is a book for children and adults who haven’t forgotten the power of “faery” or the delights of living in “imaginative other worlds” that come with reading. Even the most reluctant reader will want to know more about Steven and his adventures. And, after I read it to my grandchildren, I left the story on my Kindle. Grown ups need a little magic now and again as well. Annabelle Franklin is that rare children’s writer, one who’s never forgotten the delights and fears that are so much part of childhood. I look forward to reading more of her work at  bedtime. – Prolific Reader







26 Responses to About Gateway to Magic

  1. Jenny Lloyd says:

    So many children will be able to relate to Gateway to Magic. I will be recommending it to friend’s children. And start carrying a pen and notebook on your walks!


  2. Thanks – much appreciated!


  3. sknicholls says:

    This is the sort of magical story line that I loved to follow as a child. It brings one so very close to nature as it was in times past. The very reason why I liked Tolkien so very much. I will surely recommend it.


  4. Thank you! Tolkien is a favourite of mine as well.


  5. Louisa says:

    As it happens, I’m actually in the middle of reading Cian (my six year old son) the comic book version of the Hobbit (http://www.cygnus-books.co.uk/hobbit-graphic-novel-j-r-r-tolkien.html) so we too love Tolkien in this house! I must move onto your story next, my son loves gaming – although I restrict him to a couple of hours on the weekend, he is potty over Minecraft and talks about it nonstop! I think your story would be perfect for him 🙂


  6. Thank you! I hope your boy enjoys hearing my story as much as I enjoyed writing it. xx


  7. Meredith says:

    I’m on my way! My nephews will love a story like this!


  8. Thank you so much! I love to know that people are reading and enjoying my stories. 🙂


  9. tj6james6 says:

    Alas, there are no munchkins in my life at the moment, as mine are grown up, but I KNOW that one of them would have been horrified at living in a world without electronics!
    The other? *shrug* as long as there were baseball diamonds, basketball hoops and hockey nets he wouldn’t have cared less.


  10. Amazing how two siblings can be so different! My brother’s kids are both welded to their gadgets most of the time. When my nephew started occasionally taking the dog for a walk, the whole family rejoiced over this amazing breakthrough!


  11. I completely share your thoughts about dog-walking. The best ideas come when in the company of canine friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m inspired by tree hollows, as well! Oh, what must go on in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I know – I’ve always fancied the idea of living in a tree!


  14. Following your blog and on Twitter too, where I’m sharing your post!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jumped over from the Senior Salon
    I related immediately to your fascination with “tree hollows, rock pools and other small spaces that could be full-sized homes, communities or even kingdoms for tiny magical beings.” My own imagination always sees entries to the homes of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys – especially when there is a grate nearby from whence steam emerges.

    Your storybook sounds charming. Is it available in libraries, do you know? This would be a wonderful one for my library’s story hour – and it would be so much fun for me to watch their little faces as they were drawn into the magic, having no children or grandchildren of my own.

    Thanks for sharing the back-story too.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    PS. Go “backstage” and change the setting for your Cookies banner to disappear after the requisite 30 seconds or so. It covers your follow button (and many, like me, refuse to grant permission by clicking “close & accept.”

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I see that we have a lot in common, Annabelle. I don’t have dogs to walk, but walking through the woods or down our rural road, the magic of nature never ceases to amaze and inspire. Happy walking with your furry babies and happy writing too! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Bernadette says:

    Annabelle, thank you so much for taking the time to join us here.

    Liked by 1 person

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