Children’s Fiction

The Red Lizard

 The Red Lizard

Kindle – ASIN: B01LZA489F

Hard Rock

Hard Rock

Scripture Union – ISBN-13: 978-1844273720



Fantasy adventure. Britain is under the grip of a sinister regime. Berlewen is summoned to serve THEM. Instead, she, Honesty and the faithful four-footed Enkenethal set out to join the rebels. To reach the island, they must confront the terror lurking under the marsh. They are guided only by a song, which tells of a Prince in hiding. But does he exist? And will he be the sort of leader they are expecting?

“Magical… This is a beautiful book which will entrance 12 to 14-year-olds. It is extremely well written; the plot moves forward briskly; the characters are developed skilfully and believably; wise and wholesome principles are introduced and promoted with subtlety and sensitivity. A stylish novel which has a very great deal to offer and which can be recommended… unreservedly, as a novel of quality. “
– School Library Association

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-4670-4

The Sorcerer's Trap

The Sorcerer’s Trap

Novan’s country has been conquered, and he is eager to join the freedom fighters. The only trouble is, he’s fallen in love with a girl from the other side. When he gets a chance to kill the High Sorcerer, he faces a terrible choice. Soon they are both fleeing for their lives.

“This compelling and well-paced story has powerful resonances with modern times as people under colossal pressure confront agonising decisions as a result of struggling to understand and do what is right.”
– Gateway

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-4985-1

The Sorcerer's Daughter

The Sorcerer’s Daughter

The High Sorcerer’s Daughter Sarba has reason to hate the Xerappans, after what they did to her mother. When she is sent on a mission into Xerappo, the young sorcerer Tekran calls her certainties into question. Soon they are both fleeing for their lives across the desert, with the Sorcerer Guard and their dragons in pursuit.

“Terrific! Topical and relevant. Fay Sampson explores modern themes in a fantastic adventure story which will suit young and mid-teens. “
– Gateway Monthly Recommended Read

Lion – ISBN: 978-0-7459-6072 2


The Pangur Bán Stories

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“Acclaimed Celtic fantasy, featuring the cat, the bloodthirsty princess and the painter.
Breathless, tumbling fantasy… a wildly joyful … action-packed tale.” 
– Guardian

Outstanding value… compulsive story-telling.” – Church of England Newspaper

Pangur Ban the White Cat

Pangur Ban, the White Cat

Enmity sweeps Pangur, Finnglas and Niall into dangers underwater. Who will save them when their own efforts fail?

Spring Song Press – ISBN: 1954768001

Finnglas of the Horses

Finnglas of the Horses

Finnglas’s quest to find her lost horse leads to danger none of them dreamed of. They fall under the power of the Rhymester and his shape-shifting Wolves.

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-4761-1

Finnglas and the Stones of Choosing

Finnglas and the Stones of Choosing

Finnglas is heir to the Summer Land. But first she must pass seven tests. If she fails, she will die.

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-4760-3

The Serpent of Senargad

The Serpent of Senargad

A princess, a potter and a goose-girl are prisoners in the caves of the loathsome Worm. How can Pangur, Finnglas and their friends save them?

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-1520-5

The White Horse is Running

The White Horse is Running

Finnglas’s rivals loose the sacred White Colt. The result is war. As the friends race to stop it, Finnglas and Niall are captured. What will happen to Pangur when he catches up with the Colt?

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-1915-4


Shape-shifter: The Naming of Pangur Ban

The prequel. A white kitten is caught under the witches’ half-made spell. He is a danger to everyone who tries to help him. Rashly, Niall sets out in pursuit.

Lion – ISBN: 0-74594762-X

Pangur White Cat

Shape-Shifter / Pangur Bán: the White Cat

Double-decker volume.

Lion – ISBN: 0-745937578


Other Books for older children and teenagers

Free Man in Sunday

A Free Man on Sunday

Edie and Denis join the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout.

“Wonderful book.”
– Irish Independent

Dramatic and vivid story… exciting… thought-provoking.
– Children’s Books of the Year

Hardback: Gollancz – ISBN: 0-575-04114-5
Paperback: Harper-Collins Lions – ISBN: 0-00-673501-0



A teenage rock band fall foul of the police.

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72299-1

The Chains of Sleep

The Chains of Sleep

Fantasy on the Scilly Isles, as Sarah and Lew wake an old power.

Whoever reads this haunting little novel is likely to read it twice.
– The Listener

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72250-9

The Hungry Snow

The Hungry Snow

Dartmoor is in the grip of blizzards and girl babies are mysteriously dying. Can Marie save her newborn sister?

A racy and compelling narrative… strong in characterisation and vivid incident.
– Methodist Recorder

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72250-9

The Watch on Patterick Fell

The Watch of Patterick Fell

Winner of the Spanish Barco de Vapor Award
Near-future thriller, as protests grow around the nuclear processing plant.

Taut and dramatic.
– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72077-8

Landfall In Innis Michael

Landfall on Innis Michael

Near-future thriller. Roger and Elspeth move to an island guarding nuclear waste. But the former inhabitants have other ideas.

Plenty of adults are likely to be reaching for … an exciting tale around an unusual idea.
– Express and Echo

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72201-0


Books for younger children

The Dancing Horse

The Dancing Horse

The Obby-Oss dances through the village on May Day. But when a French warship attacks, he may be the only one who can save them.

John Hunt – ISBN: 1-903019-78-8

The Christmas Blizzard

The Christmas Blizzard

A Christmas visit to grandparents goes wrong when the family car gets stuck in a blizzard.

Lion – ISBN: 0-7459-2214-7

Josh's Panther

Josh’s Panther

Josh’s attempt to make a big cat’s footprint sets off a massive hunt.

Hardback: Gollancz – ISBN: 0-575-03914-0
Paperback: Puffin – ISBN: 0-14-032485-2

Chris and the Dragon

Chris and the Dragon

Chris gets a star part in the Nativity play, until it all goes wrong.

Hardback: Gollancz – ISBN: 0-575-03661-3
Paperback: Puffin – ISBN: 0-14-032121-7

Jenny and the Wreckers

Jenny and the Wreckers 

It’s a stormy night, and Jenny’s father hasn’t come home. Can she light the lamp in the lighthouse alone?

Hardback: Hamish Hamilton – ISBN: 0-241-11368-7
Paperback: Marshall-Pickering – ISBN: 0-7208-0734-4

The Empty House

The Empty House

Thinking about school makes Rachel feel sick. But the abandoned kitten next door is even more scared.

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72195-2

Half a Welcome

Half a Welcome

Britain is evacuated. David and Carolyn become refugees in the African bush.

Hamish Hamilton – ISBN: 0-241-89236-8



Near-future thriller. Roger and Elspeth move to an island guarding nuclear waste. But the former inhabitants have other ideas.

Dobson – ISBN: 0-234-72201-0

Making Fantasy Come True

Being a writer is the most fun job you can have. There are all sorts of things I wanted to do as a child, but never had the chance to. Researching for a book gives me a wonderful excuse to catch up on them.

When I was a child, I loved books about pirates and the Swallows and Amazons series. But even though I lived in a fishing village, I could only dream of learning to sail. In Pangur Bán the characters are swept out to sea in a small boat. So now was my chance. I took myself off to a sailing school on the west coast of Scotland – and managed to capsize the boat on the first day.

Finnglas is mad about horses, so that sent me learning to ride on a Dartmoor farm. But in Finnglas and the Stones of Choosing, one of her trials involves driving a chariot. Um… bit of a problem there. The farm rose to the occasion and offered me a day driving horses. I spent a wonderful morning walking behind a horse, harrowing a field. In the afternoon I was put in a light surrey. Not quite a wicker chariot, but the next best thing. In front of me was an obstacle course. I was supposed to drive my horse at a fast trot in and out of the poles, like a slalom race.

You never know what an experience feels like until you try it. I hadn’t realised how slowly boats capsize. You have passed the point when it is inevitable, but still the water creeps coldly up your body. With driving a horse, I imagined you would have to haul on the reins, left or right. To my astonishment, you simply wind the reins round your hand and turn your wrist a little, clockwise or anticlockwise. And if it’s well-schooled, this huge animal, many times stronger than you, goes exactly where you want it to. I only clipped a couple of poles.

Some of the Celtic ships I write about are made of leather, stretched over timbers. Tim Severin made one and sailed it across the Atlantic, following the voyage of Saint Brendan. I saw it afterwards, at Exeter Quay. Until I did, I never guessed what a leather boat, made waterproof with sheep’s fat, smells like.

I love rummaging in books and online for information, but there’s some research where you just need to get out and do it.