Middle Grade Reviews

Blog Tour: Sinéad O’Hart, author of ‘The Star-Spun Web’, introduces her new character.

Blog Tour: Sinéad O’Hart, author of ‘The Star-Spun Web‘, introduces her new character.


About The Star-Spun Web

Tess de Sousa was left at Ackerbee’s Home For Lost and Foundlings under strange circumstances. Years later, when a man comes to claim her, there is nothing Mrs Ackerbee can do except give Tess the strange device which was left with her when she was a baby.

Tess is taken to Roedeer Lodge by the sinister Mr Cleat. It soon becomes apparent that his interest in Tess is part of his own scheming. Added to that, Tess suffers unkindness from housekeeper Mrs Thistleton.

When Tess learns what her strange device is, and how it can connect her to other worlds, she realises she is part of a much bigger plan.

I loved The Eye Of The North last year. The Star-Spun web not only met my expectations, it blew them away. 

I am delighted to welcome Sinéad to my blog to talk about her protagonist. Thank you Sinéad for your time, and to Leilah at Stripes publishing for organising this content. 


Sinéad O’Hart introduces Tess de Sousa. 

Who is this girl, and where did she come from? Tess and Violet originally came into my head starring in a different story completely, but they had one thing right from the start: they were a team and were very definitely meant to be together. When I needed to redraft the story, Tess and Violet had to slot into a different world, but things worked much better then – they’d found their true home, and Tess and Violet seemed to come alive in my hands. As for where Tess came from: I really have no idea! Tess, complete with Violet and her full name and how she looked, just arrived in my head one day, even if her story needed a bit of tweaking.


What inspired her story? I suppose she’s inspired by the women scientists and adventurers who inspire me, as well as being the sort of character I like to read about in other people’s books. As for what inspired her story: the setting, and the historical reality at the time, had a lot to do with it. Incorporating a real-life historical event into the story meant I worked back from that point, trying to create an interesting chain of events which might have led up to it. Also, the building Tess and her friends live in (Ackerbee’s) is a real building in Dublin city centre, though it’s not a children’s home. It’s a building I’ve loved for many years and I always wanted to put it in a story, so having that setting helped too.


I feel like Tess would be one of my best friends in school. Is there a fictional character or characters that you’d have wanted to hang out with at break-time if they were real? Characters I’d have liked to hang out with at school would have included:

Tiffany Aching, (a young witch in training from the books by Terry Pratchett – she first appears in the book The Wee Free Men) Rose Raventhorpe (from the Rose Raventhorpe Investigates series by Janine Beacham, Ivy Sparrow (from the Uncommoners series by Jennifer Bell), Coraline (from Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece Coraline), Lily and Robert (from the Cogheart series by Peter Bunzl, Twister (from the book Twister by Juliette Forrest) and the Brightstorm twins Arthur and Maudie from the Sky-Ship Adventure series first book, Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy). Imagine the trouble we’d cook up!


Thanks to Stripes Publishing for organising this content as part of a promotional blog-tour. Opinions remain my own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s