Debut book for ex-Springwood school student

James Nichol
James Nichol
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A debut book by former Lynn student James Nicol has just been published – and he is holding a book signing on Friday at Waterstones in Norfolk Street.

James lived and worked in Lynn until some ten years ago, having attended Springwood High School and then working at Ottakar’s (now Waterstones) from 1996-2004.

His children’s novel, The Apprentice Witch, is an enchanting tale of friendship, bravery – and hexes! Perfect for fans of The Worst Witch or Diana Wynne Jones, this is a spellbinding read packed with warmth, humour and charm.

A small-world fantasy tale set in a world of domestic magic, the novel follows fifteen-year-old trainee witch Arianwyn as she rigorously tries to get her witches’ qualification – and save a town along the way.

Arianwyn fluffs her witch’s assessment. Awarded the dull bronze disc of an apprentice – to the glee of her arch-rival, Gimma – she’s sent to protect the remote, dreary town of Lull. But her new life is far from boring.

It turns out Gimma is the pompous mayor’s favourite niece – and worse, she opens a magical rift in the nearby forest. As Arianwyn struggles with her spells, it’s soon clear there’s much more than her pride at stake ...

Tapping into important themes such as self-esteem, forgiveness and overcoming failure, The Apprentice Witch is the kind of modern classic that readers will go back to again and again.

Published by Chicken House at £6.99, The Apprentice Witch is suitable for ages eight and over.

James, who has loved books and stories throughout his life, is now a librarian and a writer living on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fens with his partner and a black cockapoo called Bonnie.

He will be at Waterstones on Friday from 3.30-5.30pm to sign copes of the book.