THE Elephant House coffee shop, overlooking Edinburgh Castle, will always be known as the place where J.K. Rowling got inspiration for her early Harry Potter novels.
Now a Grappenhall author is set to do the same with Lumb Brook wood after her first novel, Half Bad, was published.
Sally Green’s story is about a boy called Nathan and his struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.
She said: “Nathan lives with his grandmother for the early part of his life and there is a wood near the house and that is really Lumb Brook wood.
“That is where I imagined that wood to be. My son used to go to Broomfields and I would often drop him at school and take a walk through the woods.”
Half Bad is expected to do for witches what Twilight did for vampires and what Harry Potter did for wizards after the film rights were snapped up by Fox and Twilight’s producer Karen Rosenfelt.
Sally added: “That is the most amazing thing because if you were to say pick somebody to produce the movie it would be Karen because she produced the Twilight films and has just done The Book Thief as well.
“It’s just brilliant. I went out to the States at the end of January and we went to the Fox studio lot and I was sitting in the back of this chauffeur driven car on the way there with my editor and I was just thinking oh my goodness.
“It was a real moment when you think I can’t believe I’m here because I’ve written a book.
“And I have to go back because the Hollywood sign was hidden in the mist and I want to see it!”
Sally’s book is already available in 45 countries and advances for a trilogy of novels are expected to earn the 52-year-old a staggering £1million.
Not bad for a first time author who found she had some time on her hands when her son Indy, aged 11, was at school.
She got the writing bug after going to Fate, a storytelling festival in Shropshire in 2009.
Sally, who has lived in Warrington with her husband Allan for 20 years, said: “You’re immersed in folklore, myths and legends and things like that so that gave me a bit of inspiration.
“And for once in my life I had more time to read when my son was at school.
“I think that got my brain working again and I thought I’d give it a go and it really was nothing more than that.
“I hadn’t written any fiction since O-Level when I was 16.”
Then in June 2010, Sally had an idea about witches which cast a spell on her imagination.
The former accountant told Weekend that she enjoys toying with perceptions of good and evil in her writing.
Sally said: “You just assume that the white witches are going to be good and the black witches are going to be bad and I just like the idea of turning that on its head and playing around with those assumptions.”
Part of it came from Sally’s reaction to the ‘black and white’ nature of news broadcasting.
She added: “I think we’re all fed lots of information on the news and you rely on it for what’s going on in the world.
“But it is only one point of view really and I think it’s interesting to question things more deeply.
“It’s a book for teenagers but that’s a time when you question everything around you. One of the great things to question is the labels people are given.”
Sally reckons tales of the supernatural have captured people’s imagination recently because although it is escapism we can see a piece of ourselves in the stories.
She said: “These people are humans but not quite or there’s something extra about them and it’s usually something that’s powerful but also a vulnerability.
“It could be vampires or witches or the X-Men and things like that. They all have something special about them but have weakness as well.
“They’re still human beings with the same emotions and feelings. So you have all the fun and excitement of all the powers and adventures but there’s also the vulnerability of humanity within it as well.”