Little Book,  Middle grade,  Self Published Sunday

Beach Beings: Distant Shores

Jean and Jamie Illingworth

Beach Beings (or beachies as they call themselves) are very small and live unseen amongst the rock pools of our coastline. This story picks up where we last left siblings, Pebble and Shore, and follows their adventures with their new friends. As the young beachies navigate the joys and challenges of growing up and falling in love, they also face countless dangers, not only from their old enemies the Shell Clan but also from Huge Beings and the sea itself.


When did you know that you wanted to be an author?
I think I have always wanted to be an author (along with an interior designer and a landscape photographer) as I’ve always had a passion for words and love storytelling. In my ‘day job’ I’m a health and safety consultant, so I need to do something creative as an anti-dote to that. However, I only started putting my work ‘out there’ to give my wonderful son, Jamie, a platform for his amazing illustrations. Getting my first books published gave me the confidence to keep writing, and I’ve gone from strength to strength; this year, amazingly, I have an four books being published!

What inspired you to write this book?
My early childhood was spend living at the coast, and I start to fret when I’m away from the sea for too long. The Beach Beings books were initially inspired by a day at the beach with my husband, DJ, and son, Jamie, when I’d just finished writing the last book in the Danny Dragon series. We were enjoying ice creams and chatting about what I’d write next when DJ who came up with the idea of small ‘people’ living amongst the rock pools. I loved the idea of a whole community we didn’t know about and was excited to be able to write about the seaside I love so much, but as soon as Jamie drew Pebble and Shore, I knew who they were, and it was easy to write their story. 

Beach Beings – Distant Shores is a sequel to the first book, Beach Beings, and was inspired and my friend, Susan, wanted to know what happened to a Hanno, a charter in book one, and that got me thinking, ‘what did happen to Hanno’? I also had no choice but to write book two as my young great-niece, Skye (and her mother who was sick of reading book one over and over again) keep nagged me for another book.  I touched on environmental issues in book one, but there was more I wanted to say about what man is doing to our seas, so that was another reason for writing the second book.

If you could sell this book in one sentence, what would it be?
Beach Beings – Distant Shores is fast-moving, exciting, funny and touching, with a strong environmental message and feisty female main character, but mostly it’s about love and hope; the love of our families and the power of love that won’t let us give up until every one of us is safely home.

What are you up to next?
Since finishing writing Beach Beings – Distant Shores I’ve been very busy and have written two new novels. The first is a thought provoking but exciting adventure story for young adults, ‘Two Degrees’. It’s set in the near future where teenager, Lexey, has to find a way to survive, alone, in a world changed by global warming. 

The next is ‘The Allotments’ a warm and funny novel for adult, written in just two months (during Lockdown 3), a story of loneliness and love, community and corruption – and gardening.

I’m now working on finishing an old novel ‘Now’ but have the seed of an idea for a follow up to The Allotments and am being nagged to make Beach Beings a trilogy, so we’ll have to see which gets done first! 

Who is your biggest inspiration?
My son, Jamie, who has Aspergers, and every day has to negotiate an alien world, and does so with humour and kindness.

Publisher: Nightingale Books
Publication Date: 29th July 2021
Format: Paperback
Pages: 211
Genre: Adventure
Age: MG
Reviewer: N/A
Source: N/A

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