Once upon a time ... Lenzie author unveils tales of magic, history and mystery

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READERS of all ages are being offered a trip to far-flung lands courtesy of an award-winning Lenzie author.

Best-selling writer Theresa Breslin has launched two new books – ‘Spy for the Queen of Scots’ and ‘An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales’.

The grand launch event took place at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh before an audience of more than 100 – young and old.

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‘An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales’, published by Floris Books, is Theresa’s compendium of the best-loved tales from all over Scotland.

The Carnegie Award-winning author’s collection of yarns are distinctly Scottish, but the tales are similar to well-known stories such as ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and ‘Rumpelstiltskin’.

Theresa was delighted with the launch of the books, at which she spoke and gave readings.

She said: “I was really pleased there were children as it made it very special. They sat quietly on the floor while I read a story from the folk tale book and then the illustrator, Kate Leiper, spoke about her artwork and how she interpreted the stories.

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“She explained how it wasn’t just a case of showing what was described, but about conveying atmosphere and expanding the text. Her illustrations are truly stunning and I couldn’t have wished for better to set off these traditional Scottish tales.”

‘Spy for the Queen of Scots’, published by Random House, tells the story of Jenny, lady-in-waiting to Mary Queen of Scots, who puts her own life in danger as she turns spy for Mary in a world full of treachery.

Theresa explained: “When writing it, I was aware that Mary Queen of Scots has been portrayed in a variety of ways through film, fiction, and factual accounts of her life.

“I chose to write about her from the viewpoint of someone of a similar age living very close to Mary, who would see her faults, but was also able to empathise with her extreme youth when dealing with exceptionally difficult circumstances.

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“Her life was filled with incident, intrigue, battles and betrayal, and the book details some of these, set within the personal life and romantic involvement of her companion, Jenny.”

Theresa is the critically-acclaimed author of more than 30 books for children and young adults whose work has been filmed for TV, broadcast on radio and is read worldwide in many languages.

Julia Donaldson, Children’s Laureate, described ‘An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales’ as “a delightful and varied collection of stories from all over Scotland.”

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