Books and Trolls - Sandbach author Rachel Lindsay's literary project

PUBLISHED: 21:33 05 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:28 20 February 2013

Notice anything odd about Rachael? She wears odd shoes on her school visits to encourage children to look for details they can add to their stories

Notice anything odd about Rachael? She wears odd shoes on her school visits to encourage children to look for details they can add to their stories

Former teacher Rachael Lindsay is returning to Cheshire classrooms with a group of trolls, as Paul Mackenzie reports Photography by Kirsty Thompson

The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Cheshire Life

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A family of trolls is inspiring children across Cheshire to improve their writing skills. The little people with their big noses, large mouths and unkempt hair (thats the trolls, not the children) visit schools with author Rachael Lindsay whose fourth book about the trolls was published earlier this year.

Rachael, who lives at Winterley, near Sandbach, decided as a young girl that she wanted to be a writer and would fill exercise books with long stories. But she hated having to stand in front of her class and read them.

In spite of that she became a teacher and during a career break during which she had her two children, Rachael wrote her first story about the mysterious creatures in the forests and caves of Norway.

I sent it off to some publishers but it was rejected, she said. When I went back to teaching and had a Year Three class I wanted to test the book on children other than my own.

I read them my story but didnt let on I had written it. After the first two chapters they wanted to buy the book and read along with me so I had to come clean, but at least I knew they enjoyed it.

Encouraged by their response, Rachael persisted and succeeded in having her first book, The Warrior Troll, published. A year ago she left education to devote herself full-time to writing is now working on the fifth in the series, in between visits to school with her collection of trolls.

Financially it has been difficult, but to have the time to write has been fabulous and I now have the time to go into schools and to use my teaching skills and have some creative and inspiring fun that children enjoy and benefit from. It suits me really well and it keeps me in touch with my readers.

I take my basket of trolls into schools and speak troll language to the children. Then I do a creative writing workshop with them and read to them.

And Rachael, who was brought up in Wilmslow, added: To finally have something I had written in print was wonderful, but I was aware that lots of people have one story printed and I wanted to make sure I had more than that.

My writing has matured over the years and Im adding more comedy and humour to the books now. The stories have become more complex but Im trying to rein it in and not extend the age group. I like to write for children who will believe the stories. I feel very strongly that children need an escape from real life, its nice to let your dreams take you elsewhere.

I think the fifth in the series will complete it but I have another story on the shelf which I wrote some years ago and I plan to dust that down and re-work it. My daughter thinks its the best Ive done. It is still fantasy but there are no trolls in there.

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