On this shortlist:
Vashti Hardy lives near Brighton with her husband and family. She was a primary school teacher for many years, and now works in copywriting and digital marketing alongside writing her own novels and visiting schools. Vashti graduated from the University of Chichester with a first class honours teaching degree, with an English specialism. She also holds an MA in Creative Writing.
Her debut novel, Brightstorm, has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards and Awesome Book Awards and is set to be published in many different countries, including Poland and Germany.
Vashti was inspired to write Brightstorm by the real life adventures of Ernest Shackleton and other adventure and exploration stories.
Twins Arthur and Maudie Brightstorm receive word in Lontown that their famous explorer father has died in a failed attempt to reach the southernmost point in the world. Not only that, but he has been accused of stealing fuel before he died!
The twins don’t believe the news, and they answer an ad to join a new attempt to reach South Polaris. It’s their only hope of learning the truth... and salvaging their family’s reputation.
As the winged ship Aurora sets sail, the twins must keep their wits about them and prove themselves worthy of the rest of the crew. But will Arthur and Maudie find the answers they seek?
Brightstorm is Vashti’s first novel, but she has lots of exciting ideas for future books.
Vashti was first attracted to writing novels because she loves the idea of building a new world.
The Brightstorm character she most relates to is Arthur, because of his tenacity and his love of books.
Her favourite word is ‘gloaming’. It describes the part of the day after the sun has gone down and before the sky is completely dark.
Brightstorm was published by Scholastic on 1st March 2018.
Praneel Devesh from Raynville Primary School:
Mehrin from Coop Academy Oakwood:
Jessica from Calverley c of e: