Making fantasy real - author Rosemary Gemmell

Continuing the series about writing for younger readers to mark the launch of The Cloud Pearl, this week we hear from talented writer Ros Gemmell, author of The Jigsaw Puzzle.

The epublishing business is wonderfully global, however it was delightful to connect with a fellow-Scot. Rosemary and I have exchanged many an email over the past few months, so it's pleasure to have her as my guest today, to talk about interweaving fantasy with real-life issues.

The Jigsaw Puzzle

Twelve-year-old asthmatic Daniel stays with his bossy cousin, Amy, her mum, and two cats in the Scottish countryside during the Christmas holidays while his parents take a trip to sort out their problems. When Amy and Daniel make up an old jigsaw puzzle, the cottage and garden gradually change to resemble the Victorian cottage pictured on the box lid.

In between searching for the missing Title Deeds of the cottage to save it from land developers, they complete the jigsaw and find a strange rhyming puzzle hidden within the box. What does it mean? Daniel and Amy soon find out when they become trapped in the past.

Will they solve the cryptic written puzzle and find their way back to the present before it’s too late to save themselves, the destruction of the woods, and their cottage?

InspirationThe Jigsaw Puzzle is a slightly creepier story for around the 9-12 age group, with a little bit of fantasy and a rhyming puzzle to solve. But it’s also rooted in reality as Daniel, my main character, has asthma which is made worse by his mother and father constantly arguing. When they dump him on his aunt and cousin in the Scottish countryside between Christmas and New Year and head off for America without him for a week or two, Daniel has an adventure of his own!

I’ve always enjoyed jigsaws and other puzzles, and wanted to write something with a little bit of magic and suspense that would take children out of their everyday lives for a while. As a child, and adult, I love to enter the world of a story that offers a little bit of escapism – the same with films.

Yet, by giving Daniel a real-life problem too, some children might be able to relate to his situation. Hopefully, whoever reads it will find their inner child.

The Jigsaw Puzzle is available from MuseItUp Publishing in all formats: 

Amazon UK in ebook and print here:

Amazon US in ebook and print here for the US market:

Author bio
Rosemary Gemmell is a Scottish freelance writer whose short stories, articles and children’s stories are published in UK national magazines, in the US, and online. The Jigsaw Puzzle (as Ros) is her second MG book from MuseItUp Publishing which was released earlier this year. Summer of the Eagles was published in 2012. Her historical novels, Dangerous Deceit, Mischief at Mulberry Manor, Midwinter Masquerade and contemporary novella, The Aphrodite Touch, are published under the name Romy. Rosemary is a member of the Society of Authors, the Scottish Association of Writers and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.


(children’s)  and (main):


  1. Good morning Pamela and Ros. This looks like a really good read for older children, Ros. I really enjoyed Summer of the Eagles where you also wove in a few other-worldly strands. Hope it and The cloud Pearl do well. Anne Stenhouse

    1. Hello Anne - many thanks for dropping by to comment!

  2. Good morning, Anne. Such a good premise, isn't it? Thanks for popping by.

    1. Hi Pam - thanks so much for featuring The Jigsaw Puzzle. Wishing you great success with Cloud Pearl - and all your other books!

  3. Both my son and I loved The Jigsaw Puzzle. It was intriguing and very appropriate for kids.

    1. Thanks so much for your support and comments, Suzanne!

  4. I have 3 boys, ages 10 - 13, and I think the "slightly creepier" aspect of this book would appeal to them. Great idea, Rosemary!

  5. Ooh! This sounds like something I, ahem, my littles would enjoy. =)

    1. Thank you, Crystal - must confess I love reading MG/YA books!


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