The inspiration behind Where Carpets Fly:
I’ve always been a fan of both children’s fantasy books and school stories – long before Harry Potter came into the world. I grew up on Enid Blyton and Narnia. So writing a fun, immersive fantasy story full of adventure but also including school and coming of age themes is basically me writing the book I wanted to read as a kid! It’s got a bit of everything I enjoy reading about.
Flying carpets have always held a fascination for me. There’s something exciting and exotic about them, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my world. I read a Diana Wynne Jones book about flying carpets (Castle in the Air – the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle), and I can say she’s also influenced my writing.
I’m currently working on the sequel to Where Carpets Fly. I wanted to keep going with Elina’s story and explore what happens next. And this time, you get to be inside the heads of a couple of her friends as well. So I shall be excited to get that book out, hopefully later in 2018. I always knew there would be a sequel, because I had plans for Elina to visit certain places which didn’t fit into the first book. And whilst the main plot is tied up in book one, there are a couple of questions the reader is probably asking, which the second book needs to answer.
I have also just released a short story called The Firestone in an anthology. It’s a fairy tale retelling – based on The Tinderbox, a long time favourite of mine. You can find out all about the anthology, Of Legend and Lore, on my writer’s group website:
Or buy the fairy tale retellings on Amazon
Where Carpets Fly – A Young Adult Fantasy Adventure Novel
Elina Faramar finally leaves her family’s flying carpet shop when her father reluctantly agrees she can take magic lessons in nearby Kamikan. Urban life promises adventure, and new friend Kara shows her the sights.
However, Elina soon sees a darker side of life: a foreigner arrested at the circus, forbidden schoolhouse rooms with odd comings and goings, and unsociable pupil Simeon’s shady deals at the docks. Everything seems connected to the volatile neighbouring country of Pallexon, but no one will tell her why.
When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, he seems close to confiding in her. But an unexpected voyage takes Elina and Kara away from answers and towards unknown danger in Pallexon.
Alone in a strange country, with no identity papers, the situation rapidly turns into a nightmare when Kara is mistaken for a spy. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel the secrets of Pallexon.
ELINA GAZED OVER HER SHOULDER. The village she had known all her life receded into the distance. It’s strange to think I might not be back for a whole year.
Below the flying carpet, early morning sunlight reflected off the river, illuminating the haunt of the river fairies. Her father urged the carpet onwards and upwards, and the sound of rippling water faded.
Her mother reached back and patted her hand. “Sure you’ve got everything?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Elina wriggled onto her stomach and peered over the edge. The ground whizzing by made her stomach lurch, but all her bags were safely tied underneath with strong leather buckles. Her father normally used this family-sized model to transport stock for the flying carpet shop.
“Good.” Her mother wore a satisfied smile.
“Raine, stop fussing.” Elina’s father adjusted course slightly. “Bear east. You’ve checked the bags over and over. Anything Elina hasn’t got, she can buy in town.”
As the magic carpet gained height and speed, Elina shivered in the chill air and wrapped her wool cloak tighter. Fields spread out below became a mottled greeny-beige patchwork. The sensation of flying always thrilled her: the taut fabric gliding along effortlessly, and the wind whirling wisps of her long black hair around. It wasn’t often she got to do an hour’s journey; it had been eighteen months since they last visited Aunt Clauda.
The village of Darien—low houses and farmers’ fields—disappeared behind them. They followed the river, the rising sun making Elina squint in the pinky light.
Father scanned the empty scenery ahead before speaking. “Now, Elina, I hope you appreciate the opportunity you’re getting here.”
It would be at least half an hour before Kamikan came into view, with little to see except the winding river and fields. Father probably thought it was the ideal time to remind her—yet again—of his expectations.
“I already said I’ll work hard at magic lessons.” Elina tried to keep her voice neutral, restraining from adding a sigh.
“Good. You’ll have no excuse not to apply yourself to your studies now you won’t be working in the shop.”
“I did practice at home.” She scowled at his back. “Magic’s difficult.” At least, it is when you’re trying to teach me.
Her father flicked a glance behind. “Remember, I need you to become proficient at Tangible Magic so you can help me repair carpets as soon as possible. I expect you to put maximum effort in. The shop is very important to me—make sure you keep that in mind.”
She sighed. Father didn’t seem to take subtle hints, and she’d been trying to persuade him for months that she wasn’t interested in the shop.
He turned and frowned at her, drawing his eyebrows together. “The carpet shop’s been in the family for five generations. It’s what Faramars do. You’ll learn to enjoy it once you get better at magic. But I need you to work hard. I won’t be able to expand the shop until your skills are up to scratch.”
Elina kept her face blank. She couldn’t see how spending hours patching dirty rugs would make her enjoy it.
“I’m sure Elina will do better in a school environment.” Her mother shot her a brief smile.
“I’ll be keeping a close eye on her progress during the year. We don’t want to waste all that money.” Father stared into the distance. “People come from Kamikan to buy my carpets because they know the quality of my charms is top notch. One day they’ll be coming to you instead, Elina.”
There’s no way I’m staying in that dusty old shop till the day I die. Why didn’t he ever listen to her? Not once had her father ever asked her if she wanted the shop to be her future. He just assumed she would dutifully follow in his footsteps. I want to see the world before I have to settle down to the dull kind of life my parents have.
Still, she’d managed to persuade Father it would be better if she had magic lessons in town—with a proper teacher. Thankfully, Mother had agreed with her. Mother wasn’t much good at standing up to Father, but she knew how to get round him.
Elina hoped she’d get to work on some other magic as well, instead of just those stupid carpet charms. Then, she’d have more idea of what alternatives there were to staying in the shop.
“I’m looking forward to magic school.” That wasn’t a lie, at least.
“And I hope you’re planning to pull your weight around your aunt’s house,” her mother chipped in.
“Clauda has a big exhibition next month, so I expect she’ll appreciate help with the chores.”
“Yes, Mother.” Elina tried to keep the impatience out of her voice. She was embarking on the biggest adventure of her life, and all her parents could talk about was work and chores. Typical.
Elise Edmonds is a writer from the South-West UK. Reading and writing have always been her doorways into another world—a way to escape and spend time walking with wizards, flying with fairies and dealing with dragons. By day she is a finance professional, and in her spare time she pursues writing as a creative outlet, to put the magic back into everyday life. In addition to reading, Elise enjoys watching movies, playing the piano, and going to Zumba classes. Her greatest loves are God, her husband, her family and friends, and her two beautiful cats.
Elise’s Young Adult Fantasy novel, Where Carpets Fly, is available on Amazon.
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