Heather B. Moon fell for Lanzarote in the 1980’s and now spends as much time as possible at her home on the island. She’s best known as the writer and illustrator of children’s adventure stories under the name Heather B. Moon.
Heather kindly agreed to give a free copy of one of her books to readers – you can see the download details at the end of the article.
We caught up with her to find out about her books and what she thinks of Lanzarote.
Tell us a little about yourself and about your books, Heather
I was born in Royton, Lancashire and I am married with two grown up children and three beautiful grandchildren. After teaching for some time in the Oldham area, my husband, Ian and I worked together in the education sector then joined forces to acquire our own independent schools. We worked like crazy in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s then sold the business and retired to Cornwall. Now we spend time at our villa in Lanzarote and walking the South West coast path close to our home in Cornwall.
I write and illustrate adventure stories for middle grade children age 7-12 years. I love to weave fantasy with real environmental issues to make reading exciting for children.The stories have a serious message for everyone, ‘our planet is like an intricately woven tapestry. If one small thread unravels then the whole planet will fall apart.’
My passion for animals is greatly expressed in my writing. I love animals! All my books include animals of some kind…horses, dogs, dolphins, turtles and bees. As a kid I loved the book ‘Black Beauty’. It is written from the horse’s point of view. This really influenced my writing. I love to include chapters which flick to the animal’s point of view. This worked well with ‘ Lottie Saves the Dolphins’ where I split the story by using the voice of the baby dolphin, Splash. Also in Tillie and the Golden Phantom I write parts of the story from the point of view of a ghost horse.
All the information and links to buy my books can be found here. www.heatherbmooon.com
Update 31st March 2020. Heather visited Alaska recently, and was inspired to write her latest book in the Lottie series: Lottie saves the polar bears.
Lottie Lovall International Investigator Series
(Illustrated Chapter Books for 7-12 years)
Lottie’s Eco Adventures
(the box set)
Tillie and the Golden Phantom
( A spooky Halloween story for 7-12years)
( a rhyming picture book for 2 to 5 years)
All links are to Amazon UK (you’ll need to go to Amazon.es for Spanish delivery)
I’m inspired by my environment as I live part of the year in Cornwall and part in Lanzarote. The scenery is incredible in both. Also, I had a motorhome so my travels around France, Italy and Greece influenced Lottie Saves the Bees.
Lottie Saves the Dolphins is set on a fictitious island, Canario Bonito, which I based on Lanzarote.
Lottie Saves the Turtles is set on a beautiful fictional Caribbean island of Wadadidily. I based this on St. Kitts. I found that Wadadidily was the original name the first inhabitants gave to St. Kitts. What a lovely discovery!
When did you first come to Lanzarote?
My first visit to Lanzarote was disastrous! It was Christmas 1988 and we’d booked a quick escape week, departing Boxing Day from Manchester. Our kids were tucked up nicely with their grandparents.Cracked it! A relaxing week to ourselves. Grabbing the suitcases from the carousel we entered the arrival area at Lanzarote airport. It was late evening as we stood around waiting for a rep. Not a polyester-clad, clipboard waving person in sight!
Eventually, we decided to jump in a taxi and advance to the apartments we had booked in the Old Town, PDC. On our arrival we were refused a room. The holiday company we had booked with had ‘GONE BUST’! Everyone’s biggest nightmare!
We wandered around the streets like Mary and Joseph had done many moons ago …
“No room at the inn!” There were no cars for hire… not even a donkey to ride. Another taxi driver took us to the San Antonio hotel, our only choice, charging over £200 for ONE night. Luckily we had a credit card.
Dumping the cases in the tiny room, we crossed the road to a small bar in the corner of a complex.The barman gave us an address to meet a bloke named Chris. Luckily, for us Chris owned a few apartments.This was the first time we’d encountered concrete beds.(The next time would be 35 years later when we viewed the place I would eventually call my dream home).
PS. I managed to find Chris again. We are in touch on Facebook.He lives in the north of Lanzarote. Someday we will have that glass of wine Chris and Gill! Forever grateful!
What’s changed since then?
There’s more accommodation and car hire available if reserved in advance.
‘The Strip’ in PDC is a much busier place now, with lots of busy bars and restaurants. In those days we craved the crazy, partying nightlife. Nowadays we are happy with our chilled four-hour-lunch afternoons.
Oh! And that small bar where we made contact with Chris has now developed into The Music Hall Tavern!
How often do you get to visit the island? And what’s your favourite time of year?
Lanzarote soon became our favourite place to holiday. Renting villas in the Los Mojones area of PDC for a month or so became our preference. As we grew more in love with the island we sold our motorhome and decided to buy a property in Lanzarote.
Initially we thought we wanted to buy in Los Mojones but an agent showed us the most dilapidated, scruffy villa in Playa Blanca. And … it had those concrete beds and sofas! It also had masses of potential with its huge overgrown gardens and hidden courtyard. I could see past the concrete beds and the muck. As we Northerners say, “ Where there’s muck there’s brass!” I loved it! Five years on, and a lot of elbow grease, we now have the perfect place, my writing retreat … complete with comfy beds.
I visit as often as I can, splitting my time between Lanzarote and Cornwall. I have a great housekeeper who lives in when we’re not here and takes care of the villa. My favourite time is September. The sea is at its warmest and we can sleep with all the courtyard windows open.
(Yes, we added mossie screens too.)
What are the things you love most about Lanzarote?
Year round sunshine! I’ve always been a total sun-worshiper. Spending most of the winter here is my dream. Lanzarote seems rather more laid back than the other Canary Islands. Christmas here is wonderful. An escape from all the commercialism. We usually barbecue…who needs the oven blasting away on a warm Christmas Day? Last year I bumped into the Three Kings at Marina Rubicon ( as you do!)
I adore Cesar Manrique. He has had such a great influence on the island, insisting on low-line buildings. His art and wind sculptures bring the island to life. Genius!
The vibrant sports bars! I love the banter with other soccer and rugby fans in the sports’ bars. I’m a mad Manchester City fan, have been since 1968.The rugby days are great in the Irish Anvil! Looking forward to the Rugby World Cup this year. You’ll probably spot me with red roses painted on my cheeks and England ribbons in my hair. Come on England!
What would you change about the island?
The mistreatment of animals, Podenco Dogs in particular. I do my best to support the animal charities. There are some good people living on this island who care about animal welfare and work very hard for the animal charities. Sometimes I’m asked to paint pet portraits to auction at events. See some of my pet portraits on my website.
Also … I’d have Tesco deliver groceries to my door! Seriously, Playa Blanca needs a new supermarket.
As a regular visitor, what tips would you give to first timers?
Book your accommodation with a reliable company (Learn by our Mary and Joseph experience!) I still read about people in a pickle because they have been fiddled out of hundreds of pounds by internet crime. Book car hire well in advance, especially at Christmas time.
Without wishing to sound like your mother, take care in the sun and beware of those wicked alcohol measures! I see so many sore, sunburnt shoulders even on a dull day.
Our readers love a good meal! Which are your favourite restaurants on the island?
In PDC Old Town, Casa Cabana is my all time favourite restaurant. Jeremy Benson’s fillet steak is the best. Wherever I go I compare steaks to Jeremy’s steak in peppercorn sauce. The service is excellent. Kim and the staff are so friendly. They go out of their way to ensure your evening is perfect in every way.
In Playa Blanca we are spoilt for choice. So many places. I love all the fresh fish available.
Sometimes we just love ‘a chippy’. ‘Plaice in the Sun’ is perfect. The chippy with the best view ever! Well, this Northern Lass has to have proper fish,chips and mushy peas every once in a while … with gravy!
You mentioned to us that readers could download one of your books. How can they do that?
Kids’ Book Summer Giveaway! – To claim a free ebook of Tillie and the Golden Phantom click the link
And where can they find out more about your books?
Sign up to my newsletter or buy my books click here
Thank you Heather!
Heather B. Moon is a regular reader of our free weekly newsletter – it’s how she stays in touch with what’s happening on the island. Would you like a copy? Free newsletter.