SCP-10-Blog-Tour-PosterHello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour celebrating 10 Years of Sweet Cherry Publishing, a children’s publisher that I’ve reviewed a few books for in the past. Thanks so much to Amber Choudhary at Midas PR for the invite. Before I share the guest post let me introduce you to the publisher:

Sweet Cherry is an award-winning, independent children’s book publisher based in Leicester, celebrating its 10th anniversary in October 2021. Sweet Cherry Publishing was founded by Abdul Thadha in 2011, with the mission to ensure that children of all backgrounds and abilities should have access to great stories. Based in the Midlands where literacy rates are amongst the lowest in the UK, Sweet Cherry aims to break down the barriers that often get in the way of reading: the team is positive and fun, with kindness, success, and collaboration at the core of their values. Thadha also champions inclusivity amongst the staff and strives to make creative careers accessible to under-represented backgrounds: now, half of the management are from BAME backgrounds. Sweet Cherry Publishing includes three imprints: Sweet Cherry Publishing, launched in 2011, focuses on easy-to-read illustrated fiction with a core focus on middle grade; Cherry Stone Publishing, launched in October 2021, presents favourite classics with modern covers that are great value for money and make the perfect gift; Clock Tower Publishing, launched in October 2021, features quality trade fiction for all ages – both standalone titles and series – creating a platform for marginalised and new voices to be heard. Sweet Cherry won Small Press of the Year at The British Book Awards 2021.


Guest Post with Tracy Mayhew author of Arthurian Legends

My journey to publication began about seven years ago when I started pitching my first book in a trilogy inspired by the legends of King Arthur. I approached several publishing houses, Sweet Cherry Publishing being one of them, and had many rejections. Sweet Cherry however was interested to see more and asked to see the rest of my manuscript. I waited anxiously for a response and was very pleased to hear they had enjoyed reading it although they felt there were some areas I could improve upon and develop a little further. Eventually, they informed that, as the timing wasn’t right, they couldn’t accept my manuscript but did say they would keep me in mind for any future projects that may arise.
Two years later, in 2018, Cecilia Bennett, having always remembered my passion and interest for the Arthurian legends, contacted me to enquire about writing a ten book series about the legends of King Arthur for their Easy Classics list. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘yes’ so fast to anything before! I was more than willing to work with Sweet Cherry on this project – just as they remembered my passion for the subject, I remembered them for their positivity and encouragement from our previous dealings and jumped at the chance to work with them. Initially, they suggested possible titles for the first eight books and, following much collaboration and discussion, we settled on the final ten titles and their reading order. In fact, the whole process of bringing these books to publication has been one of collaboration and teamwork – that’s the great thing about working with Sweet Cherry: they wanted my input and for me to be part of the developmental process.
To pick a favourite book from the series is hard for me as I enjoyed creating them all but, if I had to pick just one, I would have to say my favourite is the second book of the series, The Dark Sorceress. I love this story as it gives the reader an insight into Morgan le Fay’s backstory and what made her into the character we know from the legends. This book explains why she hates King Arthur so much and why she’s so determined to destroy him and take Camelot for herself – she goes on quite an emotional journey, I can tell you! This story has never really been explored in the traditional myths; it’s just taken for granted that Morgan is evil but, in this book, I’ve been able to explore the reasons behind what drives her hatred and bitterness – perhaps even eliciting a little sympathy for her along the way! Who knows?