posted in: Action/Adventure, Fantasy, MG | 0

willy smithby J. C. Lovell


Willy was a dreamer, always had been, always will be!

Totherwold is the place that all our dreams, hopes, wishes and nightmares live. Willy ends up there when he looks through a hole in a stone that he found in a pea field and gets sucked into this amazing world!

Willy must save the life of Mini, a girl from his school, who will die if he doesn’t rescue the ‘dream’ Mini in Totherwold. She has been kidnapped by the evil Marish in an attempt to free their leader, Nabdam, trapped in Willy’s world.

Willy meets many weird and wonderful people and creatures in some fantastic places. He battles with warriors, monsters and man-eating plants that are determined to stop him on his quest.

But is Willy’s dream big enough?


“This is a must for children and for big children like me…..” 


“This is a truly brilliant book aimed at girls and boys …..I can’t wait for the sequel.” 


“Thoroughly enjoyed reading all about Willy and his adventures in Totherwold. Highly recommended and I am looking forward to the next book….” 


CIR: What gave you the inspiration for the book?

LOVELL:  Besides our own children, my wife and I were also foster parents for ten years. Our lives have revolved around kids for many years. During our fostering years we became aware that many kids have low self-esteem, low self-confidence. Also, too many kids are told to be ‘realistic’ about their future and not to be a dreamer. I disagree. Like a lot of people I’d always wanted to write a book but never knew what I wanted to write about. Now I had something! One day I just started writing! Willy Smith is all about dreaming big! It says it’s OK to dream, have faith in your dreams and don’t let anybody steal them. One boy who lived with us for a long time insisted on having it read to him five times when it was still just a manuscript. He played Willy Smith all over the house, all the time. This gave me the confidence to publish it.

CIR:  What was the writing process like for your book?

LOVELL: The first draft was easy. I was so enthusiastic! I’m not one of these writers who sit down and plan the whole book out before they put pen to paper. When I write, I find it hard to stop because I don’t know what’s going to happen next! After the first draft, the hard work started: proof reading, editing etc. This is where my wife, Sheila, came in.  She’s wonderful at these things, but it still took us many, many hours before we were happy with it. Also I’m partially dyslexic which makes the whole process slightly more laborious and, at times, quite amusing.

CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?

LOVELL:  I hope it’s a book that the kids can get lost in. It’s quite a long book for the age group, but I wanted it to be a book with characters, places and happenings that will stay with the reader long after they’ve read the story. I hope that there are lessons to learn that will benefit the kids in the future as they grow and travel through life. But most of all I hope they just love the story, I hope they are scared in the scary bits, cheer for our hero in the heroic bits, and laugh at the funny bits.

CIR: Are any of the characters like you or someone you know?

LOVELL: I’m not sure if I’m going to incriminate myself here! I wasn’t really aware of it while I was writing, but Sheila says Willy Smith is me!  She’s probably right. I’m not one to argue with her! Besides that there are many characters in the book that are modelled on old school friends and members of my family. Which ones are which? I think it would be judicious to keep that to myself!

CIR: What is the main character like?

LOVELL: Willy Smith is your typical thirteen year old boy. He’s smaller than most kids his age, but it doesn’t bother him. He’s cheeky, loves football, that’s soccer if you’re American, and he’s a dreamer, big style! He’s always in trouble at school for staring out of the window day dreaming instead of working. He’s not who anyone would expect to become a hero. But boy does he prove everybody wrong!

Learn more about J. C. Lovell and his writing at his website.