Tis almost that time of year again!

Okay, Halloween hasn’t even passed yet, but our thoughts are turning to Christmas dinner (yum!), and hoping perhaps this could be the year for a white Christmas. Nah, but we can dream, right?

Anyway, this year, we’re kicking off the fun in to Christmas in style. We’ve got a signed copy of local writer Mark Towers’ festive tale, The Christmas Starfish, to give away to one lucky reader.

This fab fun book, about a little Christmas-loving starfish is sure to be a hit with kids and parents. There’s even some fun activities to do after you’ve read the book.

In an exclusive chat with NorfolkPlaces, Mark explained a bit of the background to the story. And before move on, here’s another exclusive. A Mr. Starfish picture, wearing his favourite festive Christmas hat and playing football, illustrated by Mark for the exclusive use by NorfolkPlaces only.

The Christmas Starfish playing footy - copyright Mark Towers. Exclusive permission granted to NorfolkPlaces only.

Q and A With The Author

How did this story come about?

“I actually wrote the story well over a decade ago, as I wanted to make up a fun festive tale for my kids when they were really young. I’m not really much of an illustrator but decided to give that a go too. Working full-time and juggling other projects meant it was a bit of a slow process. The Christmas Starfish was first published 6 years ago, mainly so I could give my kids a copy for Christmas, but I decided to shelve it because, well, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and felt it needed a bit more work. It got put on the back-burner for a while whilst I worked on other projects, but this year it felt like the right time to bring Mr. Starfish back. So, after a spurt of activity The Christmas Starfish is finally ready to save Christmas.”

And what’s it all about?

“Mr. Starfish is a rhyming starfish who really loves Christmas, but as you can imagine it isn’t much fun at the bottom of the sea. He just wishes for his Christmas to be more festive, but he faces a few challenges.” 

Who is the target audience?

“It’s for young readers of primary school age, though I also hope it is something parents will want to read with their children too. Every year I read “The Night Before Christmas” and “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” to my kids…..and they’re now teenagers! They insist I read “The Christmas Starfish” to the too!  It’s tradition, and I hope my book can be part of other families Christmas traditions.”

What’s next for you? Will there be more Mr. Starfish stories?

“I’ve got another book, a simple, fun picture book for under 4s, in development and hope to have that ready by the end of the year. There are a few more stories in the pipeline for Mr. Starfish. I know this one took a while, but I’m sure he’ll return in some new adventures next year.”

What do you prefer; Writing or illustrating?

Definitely writing. I’m definitely not an illustrator, but I think these simple pictures work well for this book.

Finally, where do you think Mr. Starfish would enjoy visiting in Norfolk?

“Ah, well, he has visited Norfolk many times. He lives not far away, so he’s a regular visitor but just he has to stick to the coast. Winterton and Holkham are couple of his favourite places to visit because of all the sand! I think he enjoys making sand castles.”


Okay, it’s Competition Time.

We’ve got a signed copy (complete with hand-drawn sketch of Mr. Starfish waving – see sneak-peak photo below) of The Christmas Starfish to give away.

signed copy xmas starfish

How to Enter

To be in with a chance of winning.

  1. Like either our Facebook and Twitter posts about this competition
  2. Submit your competition entry via the entry form below.
  3. If your friends might be interested in this competition, let them know.

It’s as simple as that!

Note. The collection of this information is for the purpose of this competition only so that we can contact the winner. We will not use this information to contact you about anything other than this competition and will remove all

Competition Rules

The competition will close on Sunday 8th November at 11.59pm

One entry per person.

The winner will be selected randomly.

The winner will be announced the following week and contacted by email (so we can obtain a correspondence address to send the prize).

Winners must have a United Kingdom address only.

If the winner does not have a UK address or cannot be contacted, we will randomly select an alternative winner.

No correspondence will be entered in to with regards to the competition process.

 

Buy It Now

Can’t wait to get hold of your copy? The Christmas Starfish is available in paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. Click the link below to buy your copy now!