The Girl and the Goldcrest is the first in a series of Middle Grade eco-fantasies. Three more are in the pipeline.
Emma Sparrow runs out of her house – she’s upset because her father’s disappeared. She meets Flutterbright, a ‘Guardian’ Goldcrest, trapped in a ringers’ net. She frees him, then finds she has the gift of talking to Guardians; he explains that they exist to keep the ‘Order’ of Nature – to prevent extinctions. The men who’d put the net up argue about someone called The Lord of the Air and his genetic Project Cryption.
Flutterbright introduces her and her friends to other Guardians of nature. Together they take on school bullies, but then battle to help wildlife against the evil Lord of the Air, and Project Cryption. He sets traps for them – bird attacks, a flood, vicious dogs, even fire. Will Emma and the Guardians defeat him and find out where her father is?
Steve was involved in education all his working life; first as a Head of Performing Arts in a comprehensive school, then in primary schools as a lead music teacher in David Blunkett’s Wider Opportunities Scheme. For the last twenty years or so he has written music reviews and previews for The Yorkshire Post, and more recently for the international website Bachtrack. For several years, he has also been a member of a group called Sheffield Novelists, who examine each other’s writing as critical friends.