Grays Author inspired by magic and local history


An award winning author from Grays has been inspired by tragedy and magic to write her latest book.

Michelle Harrison, is a best-selling author of several children’s books, best known for her debut ‘The Thirteen Treasures.’ Michelle is bringing out her new book in February 2019.

The new children’s book, ‘A Pinch of Magic’, follows three sisters who go on a quest to break a deadly curse which has haunted their family for generations. The book is aimed at children aged nine and over.

Inspired by Enid Blyton and The Famous Five series, Michelle loves the idea of children having independence and making experiences for themselves, as well as incorporating her love for magic and enchantment into each book she writes.

Michelle told the Enquirer: “A huge inspiration for me was the work and development of J.K. Rowling as a writer. Harrison.

“I persevered trying for four years to get a manager and publisher and felt I was able to relate to Rowling’s experiences with Harry Potter being rejected, but finally gaining success.”

Success soon came for Michelle who went on to win, ‘The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize’ in 2009 and with her new book.


The book itself, although not intended to be, does include many of Michelle’s own life experiences.

Michelle continued: “When I’m writing, many aspects of my life end up in my work without meaning to.”

“I am the youngest of three sisters, and I took my experience from my family.

“In the new book the three sisters pulled together through their differences. Which is what myself and my siblings did after the devastating loss of our parents, we had to cope and grieve and did so as a family, with family being the main theme of the book.”

Michelle grew up in Grays and lives there currently with her young son, with Essex greatly inspiring her writing.

In her new book, the setting of the, ‘Isle of Crowstone’ was named after a road name in her hometown of Grays, which she found a “whimsical” title.

As well as this, Michelle said: “In my book ‘The Thirteen Treasures’, there is mention to Thurrock’s Hangman Wood’s where I used to go as a child.

“The book itself has descriptions of when I used to go to the Deneholes”.

Michelle is also passionate about the beautiful landscapes and rich history of Essex that can sometimes sadly be overlooked, and therefore finds it important to portray this in her books.

In A Pinch of Magic, the first in a magical adventure series, Michelle has drawn upon the inspiration of local folklore from the village of Canewdon. According to legend, there will always be six witches in the village, and whenever one dies a stone falls from the church walls. Visit


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