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Turning on the Lights by Eloise Williams

When I was very young, I used to sing a song about letting my little light shine. You might know it?

I’m reminded of it now with the early dark evenings and the festive lights being turned on in people’s houses and shop windows. There’s something so enchanting about all those tiny lights twinkling against the night.

In Gaslight, I thought about the effect of the lights in the streets of Victorian Cardiff. The brilliance of the flames and the shadows. The shimmering footlights of the theatre and the glowing candles on the Christmas tree.

Light dances through Seaglass too. Sparkles on the waves, glitters through the leaves of the trees, plays tricks and creates glistening colours and crystal chandeliers of spray.

Yet, these aren’t the most important lights in my stories. The most important lights come from the characters and their relationships. Nansi’s courage in her search for her mother and her quiet acts of kindness for Bee. Lark’s concern for her sister and the way she faces her fears to save Snow from the unknown. My characters are the lights, and as I said in Seaglass, my readers are the dazzling points of light on the ocean.   

So, let’s think of ourselves this way as the nights draw in. Let’s all be a light against darkness. Kind and courageous, thoughtful and hopeful, generous and supportive of each other whoever we are and however we celebrate. Let’s make sure our little lights are shining brighter than ever.

Eloise Williams is the author of Gaslight and Seaglass for middle grade readers and Elen's Island for younger readers.