Childhood Books that Inspired Keeley Smith, Author of Returned

Posted December 1, 2012 by Melissa in Author Guest Post, Giveaway | 7 Comments

Thank you to Melissa for allowing me to post on her blog.

I’m often asked what inspires me to be a writer; I would have to say other books have been a massive inspiration to me. I thought I would give your lovely readers some insight into the books I read when I was younger (ish). Here’s a top ten list of the books that have inspired me in some way to begin writing and to look at certain themes.

10. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

This book is so sweetly innocent. It’s such a perfect blend of the issues faced in childhood and building friendships. I think it is the only book I’ve read that doesn’t have a bad guy in it.

9. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Who wouldn’t love a book written through the eyes of a horse? I longed for a horse when I was younger after reading this book.

8. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Such an amazing book! A sickly girl, Mary moves to England and her life changes. It’s a story about perseverance, determination and friendship.

7. Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

Who didn’t want to fly with Peter to Neverland? I really loved the whole other world with this and the idea of good versus evil. It’s something that I’ve brought back in Returned.

6. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

A beautiful story of magic, growing up and old age. I loved this book as a child; it has such a great mix of mystery, when the clock strikes 13 what will happen next?

5. Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

This series to me is what came before Harry Potter and magic. It’s a great series which follows Darrell through her school years to university. You obviously have the girly disasters, the bitchiness, and the boys. But they are great books!

4. Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

I adore rabbits and little Peter’s mischievous ways really made me giggle. The moral of the story, always listen to your mother.

3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What can you say about this other than it’s a classic. It’s beautifully written, endearing and engaging. I fell in love with the characters. If I can develop characters as well as Alcott I will be one happy lady!

2. Matilda by Roald Dahl

I love the book and I love the film. It’s just magic whatever age you read it!

1. Harry Potter by J. K Rowling

It had to be my number 1 book.  J. K Rowling hit the nail on the head from the first page in Philosopher’s Stone. I was blown away by all the little things she put in these books and how she built the story. She inspired me to look at witches as a theme and bring magic back into books. 

So, these are my top ten books that inspired me as I grew up. My love of writing and stories flourished because of these stories and many more.  If people read this post and from this decide to read one of the books I would say that the purpose of my post was a success. Enjoy the books if you ever read them or re-read them.  I hope you find the inspiration you are looking for.


Hill Trilogy Book One


Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult 
ASIN: B009YE6J94 
Number of pages: 319

Word Count: 96,415 
Cover Artist: Keeley Smith 
Find it: Amazon 

17 year old Cora Hunt has one wish, to live the life of a normal teenager.

Her wish never comes true.

After her reluctant move to a sleepy village in the middle of Lancashire Cora’s life is turned upside down when she discovers she is a witch, a very powerful witch. Cora is not just any old witch, she is the daughter of Alizon Device who was one of the most powerful witches of her time.  

Dealing with her new found powers is quite a challenge, but when the past she didn’t know about unearths new complications in the form of Jack Thomas, her life becomes increasingly dangerous with each waking minute. 

Jack also has a secret past, a past that clashes with Cora’s. 

A confrontation between the two results in a life or death situation. The brutal events of 1612 happened hundreds of years ago, but what Jack and Cora face is a definite déjà vu. The only question is, will their fate be the same as those who perished in 1612?

Keeley Smith is the author of
Returned, a new and exciting young adult fantasy about witches. Cora Hunt is a
witch, she’s been a witch since 1612, since the day her mother was murdered in
the infamous Pendle Hill witch trials. Now Cora must learn to control her new
power, but with this new power comes danger. Is she strong enough to survive to
threat that comes with being the new witch in the village?

Keeley lives in the UK with her
husband and rabbit. She has a BA Hons in English Literature and Language from
the Open University. When she isn’t writing and spending time with her
“book friends” she also loves to read and keep fit, by keeping fit
she means picking up chocolate and placing it in her mouth, then repeating the
process. It’s a very good workout!

Connect with the Author:  Website   | Twitter  | Facebook 

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7 responses to “Childhood Books that Inspired Keeley Smith, Author of Returned

  1. I love witch books!
    This is a great list! On mine I would have Anne of Green Gables, as a child (or early teen) it was very inspiring. I just read the comments after typing that and saw Kimba said that too, lol. Oh and VC Andrews! I gobbled her books up and they really made me think!

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