The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree by Matt Beighton Blog Tour with Guest Post @mattbeighton

Welcome to our stop during The Spyglass And The Cherry Tree blog tour!

The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree
by Matt Beighton
Genre: Upper MG/YA Fantasy
Release Date: June 2017

Some people fall down rabbit holes. Others hide inside magical wardrobes. Skye Thistle looked through an old spyglass.
Lost and alone on a world filled with Goblins, Orcs, Dragons and others that, until now, she was convinced existed only in fairy tales, Skye wants only one thing: to return home.
If she’s to have any chance of getting home safely, Skye must overcome her own fears and prejudices and embrace the prophecies that she fears have already sealed her fate on the distant world of Ithilmir. All that stands in the way of restoring peace and balance is a fearsome and worryingly familiar Dark Queen.
Goblins are very real, and whether Skye believes in them or not, she's their only hope.
Readers around the world are enjoying the complex mythology and descriptive world building of The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree, the first adventure in the Shadowlands Chronicles.

Purchase links:
Signed copies on Etsy: (£1 off at Etsy with the code SPY100 (until end of November).
Guest Post

“…any character wanting to eat a piece of zorkle meat between two slices of bread probably has no other word for it than sandwich.” – Sir Terry Pratchett

World building is hard. It’s also amazingly good fun. Before starting to build your own world, it’s vitally important that you set yourself some ground rules that dictate how your world will work. Is it going to be a place of humorous satire, as in the Discworld, or a setting for dark betrayal and rolling battles, as in Westeros. This will greatly influence not only the physical features of your world but also the characters within them.

Think about magic. Will your story have it? Even if you don’t have magic in the traditional sense, the very absence of magic may be important to your story. Are there alchemists who conjure up illusion and mystery in much the same way that magic would? When I set out to build Ithilmir, the destination for Skye Thistle’s adventures, I was sure I wanted magic to be a key part of the story but I didn’t want to write endless magical battles. I felt like that wasn’t the story I wanted to tell. Instead, I wanted to flip conventions a little bit.

That started with a female protagonist, a rarity in epic-fantasy (but by no means entirely absent). I also wanted to explore what would happen if the traditional “bad-guys”, weren’t. For this, I chose to have the Goblins on the side of good, for want of a better term. This could just as easily have been Orcs or Trolls but I chose to go for Goblins. This is possibly in no small part due to Sir Terry Pratchett’s amazing book Snuff! which explores a similar concept in his own inimitable way. I wanted to explore how that might work in an epic-fantasy setting.

The reversal of roles for the Goblins also meant that I could explore our own attitudes towards certain groups of people. The ongoing rhetoric about certain cultures and sub-cultures has always existed in our own society and I found Ithilmir a great place to explore how this can be detrimental. It doesn’t matter whether the target of the misinformation is Islam or goth-culture (remember the furor towards Marilyn Manson at the turn of the century?), it is nearly always misguided and incorrect. I liked the idea that I could address this and show the supposed villains to be the good-guys that they generally are. It’s important to remember that you aren’t just world building, you are people (or other species) building as well.

One of my favorite parts about building a whole new world is creating the cities. Coming up with names for cities and even the streets and roads that define them brings me endless joy. It’s also a source of difficulty. Any nouns that we use are, by definition, Earth centric. When creating our own world, where do we draw the line? The Sir Terry Pratchett quote that I started this article with says it all, really. You could go all-out and create new nouns for everything but then it would become cumbersome to read and your readers would switch off, particularly at mid-grade or young-adult level. There were times when I felt I was pushing my luck with some of the clan names in The Spyglass and the Cherry Tree but I tried to offset this by keeping most of the other things recognisable. In my humble opinion, if you are going to start renaming things like a sandwich, you may as well create a whole new language and write in that.

Building worlds is quite possibly my favourite part of writing fantasy. You get to transport not only your reader but also yourself to far-flung exotic locations and it’s far cheaper than an airplane ticket.

Matt Beighton was born somewhere in the midlands in England during the heady days of the 1980s and continues to spend most of his days in the same shire. He is happily married with two young daughters who keep him very busy and suffer through the endless early drafts of his stories.
When he's not writing, he teaches primary school (Kindergarten to some of you), messes around on canals in his inflatable kayak and supports his beloved Leicester City.
To find out more and to join his mailing list, visit
He is currently recruiting avid readers of children's books for his Street Team. Find out more and request to join at

Author Social Media:
Amazon author page:

Blog Tour Organized by:

No comments