Ever wondered what life would be like if you could change into a cat? Yup, me too – and it was that wonderment that created the book, Katie and the Deelans – published earlier this year.
Here’s an excerpt from the book…
We had all thought the School of Sorcery and Spells would start to look different when we started our magic lessons – that it would stop looking like a pre-fab block (grey concrete, rattling windows and flat roofs) and more, I dunno… exotic, I suppose.
But it hadn’t changed in the three years since we’d found out about magic lessons. The only thing was that you couldn’t see in the windows although the entire school had probably tried to look in at some point.
We stood outside the building and the door to the department swung open. One of the girls in the class screamed – oh actually I admit it, it was me – before Beanie stuck her elbow in my ribs and told me to stop embarrassing her. Inside, it was so far so bog standard school corridor.
Beanie nudged me. Coming towards us was a grey and white slightly fat cat, wearing a smart red velvet collar and tiny bell.
“I love cats! Isn’t she so sweet?” Beanie exclaimed. When the cat reached us, she bent down to stroke it as it weaved round her legs purring loudly and leaving clouds of loose fur on Beanie’s tights.
The cat sat on its back legs. There was a loud bang and all of a sudden the cat changed into a plump and friendly looking woman. She was wearing a black velvet dress with red panels and her hair was scraped into a pony tail.
By this point, all of our eyes had turned to saucers. Even Sam had lost his usual coolness. Most of the time, he smirked or looked bored. Now, he was gaping at the woman as if he was desperate to touch her and find out if she was real.
She sneezed violently. As I was the nearest to her several droplets hit my face and she turned to me, horrified.
“Oh! OH! I’m so sorry dearest. Changing always does that to me – I think I’m slightly allergic to the process. You wouldn’t think that would be possible, but you know I’m allergic to so many things… is someone wearing perfume by the way, I’ll have to ask you not to when you come to my classes… so it should really be no surprise that I also react in such a negative way to cats even though I can change into one.”
She stopped suddenly and looked at our faces, as many of were still gawping at her with dropped jaws.
“And I am sorry about the theatrics little ones! That wasn’t my idea, but the head of the department thought you might like a dramatic introduction to the world of magic so she suggested it.
“I have to take her advice you know, as this is the first time I have ever taught little ones and I’m very, very scared I might not be any good at it. I do hope you will all be kind to me! The school board of governors are very keen that these lessons should go well. We’ve got league tables you know, and Ballingham High has such a wretchedly bad reputation, it would be so terrible if we failed at these lessons too.
“Oh goodness, it’s such a lot of pressure for them to put on me, the new teacher, don’t you think…?
She addressed the question to Beanie. “Er yeah? It is such a lot of pressure. I feel quite sorry for you.”
“You do?” the woman looked delighted. “How very kind. Anyway little ones, I’m Bobbee D’Azzler – Miss D’Azzler if you want to be formal.”
Beanie whispered to me, “that’s got to be a made-up name”, which Miss D’Azzler noticed.
“I know – you would think it was made up, but my mother had a very peculiar sense of humour and she thought the name might suit me.” She gestured at her face, “It really doesn’t you know.”
As she was a rather plain woman, we had to agree and I only just managed to stop myself nodding along to her conclusion.
Buy Katie and the Deelans here.