Imagine my surprise and delight when today I discovered that the BBC has just released the Malory Towers Series, which is being hailed by The Guardian as the Downton Abbey for children. Finally, this classic series will be enjoyed by a new generation.
My own experience of the Famous Five and Malory Towers as a child was pure excitement. I wanted to be like Anne from the Famous Five and discover secret tunnels when I went on holiday. I longed to go to a boarding school like Darrell Rivers in Malory Towers. My co-author did, and his school made its way into our book, The Last Treasure of Ancient England.
The Famous Five and Malory Towers inspired the adventure stories I wrote at school and now – The Chester Bentley Mysteries in which Bentley overcomes his own fears in order to discover long-hidden treasures.
What lies behind the lasting appeal of these stories?
I believe that no matter what the decade, or current fashion, the fundamental nature of children remains unchanged by time. Children are curious, adventurous, and often ridiculously loyal to their friends. They are mischievous and have a great sense of humour. They are fun seekers.
Do we ever really stop being children? I don’t believe we do. Inside each of us is a child that longs for simple fun and adventure.
And on that note, I’m off to watch Malory Towers.