We Talk all things GRIM FALLS with Author/Illustrator Louise Forshaw!

Summer is coming, but we already can’t wait to go back to school! To Grim Falls, that is. Written and illustrated by the brilliant Louise Forshaw, the Grim Falls Academy series will be published at the end of the summer. Starting with three books, this monster school series is filled with mystery, adventure, and friendship.

We spoke to Louise about her writing process and inspiration for the series:

1. What inspired you to write the Grim Falls Academy series?

The idea for Grim Falls came about after I began working on my folio. Up until that point, I had only illustrated books for younger children such as board books and picture books. I created a series of ‘mock’ chapter book covers to showcase an older style I had been developing. One of those covers was Grim Falls Academy: Don’t Eat the Soup!


2. Did you draw influence from other books, TV shows, or movies? If so, which ones?

I think everything I write is inspired by the TV shows and books I love. I’m a HUGE fan of vampire TV shows. Really anything to do with magic and the supernatural. My absolute favourites are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Grimm. Other super fans will probably spot a few nods to these throughout Grim Falls.


3. Did you plan to write one book, or did you know it was going to be a series?

I had always planned to develop it as a series. Originally, I put forward four initial book ideas. But with the setting being a school for monsters, the story ideas seemed endless!


4. What advice would you give authors about writing for this age group?

I think this probably goes for all age groups but write about what you enjoy! You’re going to be re-reading and editing it A LOT. So you need to really love what you’re writing about.


5. What was your favourite part about writing these books?

Writing about characters that I love. My favourite thing about TV shows and books is the characters, as well as the relationships they have with each other. I wanted Grim Falls to be very character-driven, to showcase close friendships and ‘found’ family. These characters would do anything for each other.


6. What was the most difficult part of writing these books?

The middle! I usually have a clear idea of how the story will begin and end. But the middle for me is the trickiest part. In terms of all three books, the last book – Grim Falls Academy: Don’t Open the Box! – was the toughest to write. Without spoiling anything, there’s a character that needed to have a whole backstory and a reason for their actions.


7. Where can people pre-order?

Grim Falls Academy: Don’t Eat the Soup! and the Grim Falls Academy box set (1-3) will be released on the 28th of August. Grim Falls Academy: Don’t Feed the Glob! will be released on the 4th of September with Grim Falls Academy: Don’t Open the Box! following on the 2nd of October.
They are all available for pre-order in the usual places but are currently online at Amazon, Blackwells, WHSmiths, and Bookshop.org.