THE SPRITE SISTERS - 4 SISTERS, 4 ELEMENTS, 4 POWERS
FIRE - WATER - EARTH - AIR
Sheridan Winn is the author of the bestselling Sprite Sisters books aimed at pre-teen readers. This fantasy adventure series has sold over half a million copies in Germany, where the series is published by Fischer Verlag. The Sprite Sisters are known there as 'Vier Zauberhafte Schwestern.'
Magic runs through the Sprite family, but nobody knows who has it. This magic must be kept secret and it must only be used for good.
Each of the Sprite Sisters - Flame, Marina, Ash and Ariel - has a magic power related to one of the four elements. When they work together and balance their powers, their magic is strong - but they have an adversary who wants their power and their family home, Sprite Towers, and who will stop at nothing to get them.
There are currently eight titles in the series, available as paperbacks and as e-books. In order, these are:-
1. The Circle of Power
2. The Magic Unfolds
3. The Secret of the Towers
4. The Ghost in the Tower
5. New Magic
(These stories are all set in one year of the Sprite Sisters' lives, when Flame is 13, Marina is 12, Ash is 10 and Ariel is just 9 years).
6. The Boy With Hawk-like Eyes
7. Magic at Drysdale's School
8. The Mystery of the Locked Room
(These titles move the story along to when Flame is 15, Marina is 14, Ash is 12 and Ariel is 11 years).
Sheridan lives in Norfolk, England, and spent 25 years working with her illustrator/cartoonist husband producing illustrations for books, advertising agencies and magazines all over the world. In 1999, Sheridan became a freelance journalist and since then has had her features published on four continents in leading newspapers and magazines. She specialises in profiles of business leaders, as well as lifestyle and trends pieces.
However, Sheridan always knew that one day she would write books. The idea for the Sprite Sisters popped out late at night on 21st January 2007, when she was writing her diary. The original idea was one sentence, 'Four girls with magical powers, north, south, east, west'.
Next day, she realised this was a good idea and one worth developing. East, south, west and north would be Fire, Water, Earth and Air - the four elements. Here were her girls' magical powers. Flame would have the power of Fire, Marina's would be Water, Ash's power would be Earth and Ariel's would be Air.
As soon as Sheridan had the word 'Sprite', she thought about making the girls sisters - so Sprite Sisters. This would fit well, she thought, as she's the eldest of four girls and understands the dynamic between sisters. She decided, also, to base the stories on her own upbringing in a big country house in Norfolk, surrounded by fields - so plenty of scope for adventures. She decided to call the Sprites' home Sprite Towers, as it sounded like a huge and magical house.
Within a few days of having the original idea, Sheridan approached Piccadilly Press in London and they quickly commissioned the first book, 'The Circle of Power'. Sheridan followed up with four more titles. The first five books were written in 30 months and published by Piccadilly Press.
The Sprite Sisters books draw on many of her own childhood experiences such as the sense of freedom, the animals, camping out in the old white caravan in the woods and the big parties of family and friends.
As the eldest of four sisters, Sheridan was bossy and always planning things, a bit like Flame Sprite. Like Ariel, she was dreamy, often blurted out things and got into trouble. Like all the Sprite Sisters, she was always interested in magic.
"The Sprite Sisters' magic power is at its strongest when the girls work together," says Sheridan. "They have to learn to balance their magic power. Like life, everything works best when you work as a team."
The books have a strong sense of place and are rooted in the gently undulating countryside of North Norfolk. "I've had great fun writing the Sprite Sister stories," says Sheridan. "They're exciting and funny and have a strong sense of family."
In early 2012, Sheridan published 'The Boy With Hawk-like Eyes' as a print-on-demand paperback and as an e-book. This story moves the Sprite Sisters on two years. She also bought back the rights for the first five titles and has re-published them with new jackets and as e-books. So Sheridan became a journalist-author-publisher-bookseller!
She has recently written a YA novel set in Breckland, Norfolk. The story, which is part psychological drama, part ghost story and part mystery, is currently under consideration by publishers.
Sheridan is a lively and engaging speaker and much enjoys giving author talks to groups and schools. She receives mails from readers from all over the world and always tries to reply. She was delighted to be the winner of the Lincolnshire Young Peoples' Book Award 2010 for 'The Circle of Power', in the 9-11 year category.
If you want to learn more about Sheridan and the Sprite Sisters check out her website at: www.sheridanwinn.com
You can see her talk about the Sprite Sisters and read from her books here and see her page on Facebook.
You can also read her blog about the writing life at: sheridanwinn2.blogspot.co.uk