5 minutes with Steph Haxton

Author, historian, and illustrator, Steph Haxton, demonstrates homemade bookmaking with local school children and delves into the Cornish history behind her novels. Her published novels; ‘Exposed to All Villainies’, ‘A Cord of Three Strands’, and ‘To Untie a Sealed Knot’ are available to buy through the Padstow Bookseller.

“Because my novels aren’t the sort of thing I expect youngsters to go and buy – they are historical, they are expensive, so they are not their genre – I’m not here to sell books really, but I am here because I am passionate about books.”

5th October has brought another intriguing day at North Cornwall’s Book Festival, where Steph Haxton conducted a creative and insightful workshop.

“Making books is additive, and it just seemed like a nice thing to do with students.”

“And it’s so exciting to see so many youngsters still choosing books over kindle versions, no question.”

Steph detailed on her experience of self-publishing through Amazon Publisher:

“There’s this mystic about publishing, but I’m quite happy to share what I know and spread the information. There are a lot of pitfalls, but you must find what works best for your work. If you are going to make a business of it, then you might as well do it yourself, unless you’re very lucky and you get a publishing contract through a publisher or an agent, they are few and far between.”

Falmouth author and illustrator, Claire Chamberlain, developed the design of the beautiful covers with Steph, with each one linking together in unison:

“I wasn’t sure what to do about covers, and when she did them I thought, oh I love it, she just knew exactly what I wanted. She was just brilliant and knew what I needed from a technical point of view as well.”

The series of historical books will soon welcome a new addition. Set 20 years after the previous ‘A Cord of Three Strands’, book four promises emerging characters. Steph said:

“The characters let me know that they’re not going away. It’s set 20 odd years on from the end of the last one, and the child that’s born in that book, becomes the solder that’s involved in the 2nd one.”

By Hannah Glover