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Children’s author (and sometime rock musician) Paul Murdoch is set to take readers to another world in Talisman, the first novel in his new Peck Chronicles children’s fantasy-adventure series aimed at ages 9+. It’s officially published on 4 September but the books have recently arrived from the printers, so they’re available to order now.

Paul recently returned from Bali, having volunteered to help a community that was only discovered sixteen years ago.

“It was an incredible experience,” he says, “and gave me a strong sense of what I’ve done to my characters. I only had to run the gauntlet of snakes and spiders during night-time toilet trips; I’ve put them through much worse.”

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Talisman sees James Peck searching for his recently disappeared father. James’s life changes forever when he meets a strange exile from Denthan – a world populated with battling beasts and facing imminent destruction because one of its suns is burning out. If James is to stand any chance of saving Denthan – and his family – he must locate a powerful talisman; but nobody knows what it looks like.

There’s a tension throughout Talisman, but plenty of humorous banter too. It’s very accessible, an ideal introduction to fantasy.

Paul is an accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist who has played in several rock bands in addition to recording solo projects. “There must be something about being involved in music and going on to write novels,” he says. “You’ve got me, Charlie Higson…eh, Geri Halliwell…”