Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Meet MG author Wendy Leighton-Porter

Carpinello's Writing Pages is excited to welcome back fellow Quest author Wendy Leighton-Porter. Although we have not met in person, Wendy and I have been friends for many years. We were drawn to each other because we both write adventures set in the ancient worlds. Today our friendship continues as do our writing interests. While I remain in the ancient worlds, Wendy has traveled through time with her Shadows from the Past series and is now writing her way through English history. I invite you to read on and learn more about Wendy and her writings.

Here's a bit about Wendy:

I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies until a change of career led me to writing books for children. My aim is to take young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past and I hope that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them along the way. I’m a cat-lover, especially the Tonkinese breed, so it’s no surprise that my favourite character in my books is Max the talking Tonkinese cat. Originally from the UK, I have a home in France, but have been living in Abu Dhabi for the past 6 years.

Why did you choose to write books for MG?

As a former teacher, I knew that the 8-12 age group would be the perfect audience – they have vivid imaginations and a curiosity to learn new things. This series of adventures is fun to read, taking readers on a journey through the pages of history alongside my young time-travellers, but the stories are also educational, giving children the opportunity to learn without even realising it.

What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you're not writing?

I read most things, apart from Science Fiction which I must confess has never really appealed to me. I’m happy to lose myself in fiction of most other types, including thrillers, detective stories, romance and historical. I also enjoy non-fiction, especially anything history based.

Tell us about Max's Royal Adventure and how the story came to be.

Max’s Royal Adventure is the 16th book in my series. This novella is based on a famous episode in English history and, once I hit upon the idea of using it for one of Max’s solo adventures, I felt so inspired to write it that the story flowed out of me really fast. I made sure that the historical details in my version of events are as accurate as possible but, as usual, there is a huge fictional element. Max, of course, is crucial to the success of the operation and, yet again, his endearing qualities shine through. With each passing story, the character of the bumbling cat is building. To misquote Shakespeare, "Some cats are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." – I think the last one definitely describes Max best!

Here's a peek at Max's Royal Adventure:

Book 16 in the Shadows from the Past series is a solo adventure for my feline hero, Max the talking Tonkinese cat. The story is set in 1651, during the English Civil War:

The rightful King of England is on the run. With a price on his head and in fear for his life, Charles Stuart is desperate to escape his pursuers, the Parliamentarians who executed his father. A rich reward has been offered for his capture and everyone is on the lookout for the young man. Nowhere is safe. How will he ever manage to flee the country without help?

Never fear – the Guardians of Time have a Special Agent lined up for the job … but he just so happens to be a cat!

How do you go about researching for your stories?

I read around the subject as much as I can. I also find the internet to be very useful. My motto is: When in doubt, Google it!

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

SHADOWS FROM THE PAST is a series of time-travel adventure stories, featuring ten-year-old twins Jemima and Joe Lancelot, their friend Charlie Green, and Max, a rather special Tonkinese cat. As yet incomplete, there will be 25 titles in total when the series reaches its final conclusion. The books are based on history, myth and legend, but with a bit of an added twist.

At the start of the first adventure, The Shadow of Atlantis, ten-year-old twins Jemima and Joe Lancelot have no idea why their parents have disappeared, but a mysterious old book belonging to their father holds the answer … and so begins a quest to uncover the truth. As the mystery unfolds, my young heroes embark on a magical journey into the past and a quest to unlock the secrets of an old book that is a gateway into the pages of history.

Along the way, the time-travelling youngsters learn much about human nature – both good and bad – and the importance of always striving to do your best. More importantly, they learn a great deal about themselves, including lessons in friendship and loyalty. It’s a steep learning curve at times, but children are resilient and resourceful. Having grown in confidence as a result of their experiences, they will be able to face the future, armed with the knowledge that they can achieve their dreams and ambitions if they believe in themselves. Nothing is impossible!

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I’m currently working on book number 17 in the series, The Shadow of the Great Fire, set during the Great Fire of London in 1666. It’s packed with historical detail, but my young time-travellers and Max the Tonkinese cat are in for a hair-raising adventure, filled with plenty of mystery and intrigue. They will also meet some famous people from that period, including Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Christopher Wren and King Charles II.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Be prepared to do lots of marketing for your books! I was really bad at this and am still learning. I was not a regular on social media, but I’ve made some good author friends along the way who give me lots of advice and point me in the right direction. There are some great groups you can join on Facebook and other social media sites – I’ve found fellow writers to be a very supportive community.

Anything else you want readers to know?

My passion for history also fuels one of my other hobbies, genealogy, and I’ve been researching my family tree for many years. In fact, it was my father who started me off along this path when I was young – it was an interest we both shared. I’m now carrying on his work and continue to uncover new things all the time. With so much information now available via the internet, it makes the search a lot easier and I’ve been lucky to trace some branches of my family as far back as the 1500s. I find the research so absorbing that I feel like a detective solving a great mystery when I follow clues and discover something new about the lives of my ancestors. I also have no problem when I need to find names for the characters in my books – I simply go to my family tree! For example, Jemima Lancelot, my young heroine, was named after my 5-x great-grandmother.

Where can readers find you and your books?

I have a website:

And, I’m part of the Quest Book group of authors:

You can also find me on




My books are available from Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback versions.

1 comment:

  1. Great article. Nice to get a little insight about Wendy. Keep up the writing ��