Clayhall-born author publishes fantasy debut inspired by jokes with son

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 May 2017

Clayhall-born author Lorraine Gregory, who has published her first book Mold and the Poison Plot

Clayhall-born author Lorraine Gregory, who has published her first book Mold and the Poison Plot


Young fantasy fans will find adventure aplenty in the debut of a Clayhall-born writer.

Mold and the Poison Plot is Lorraine Gregory's debut bookMold and the Poison Plot is Lorraine Gregory's debut book

Lorraine Gregory last week unveiled Mold and the Poison Plot, a tale of courage in the face of danger and feelings of not fitting in.

The author, who grew up in Clayhall and Hainault before moving to Loughton when she married, launched the Oxford University Press title on Thursday at Daunt Books, Cheapside, and is thrilled her dream of publishing a book has come to fruition.

The 44-year-old told the Recorder: “When I was at school I was always writing stories, English was my favourite subject and I wondered if I could be a writer.

“But then I got older and thought it was a silly thing to want to do, normal people didn’t do that.

“It was years, but then I started making up stories for my son as he couldn’t find anything he wanted to read, and remembered how much I love it.”

Mold came to life while former restaurant manager Lorraine was “messing around” with her son, now 16 but 10 at the time. She joked she would throw him in the bin, though the bin men probably wouldn’t want him either, and the tale was born.

“I just had a flash of a baby in a bin, and thought why’s he in there, what’s his story, and the plot came to me really quickly.

“I gave up with the other book I was writing and started this one.”

Mold, a boy with a big nose and bigger heart, is raised by Old Aggy when she finds him abandoned in a dustbin. But when Aggy is accused of poisoning the king, Mold must muster all his courage to save her, with the help of an unlikely friend.

“It’s an adventure about a boy who feels like a freak, it’s about not fitting in,” said Lorraine.

“His big nose is actually a gift, he has a really amazing sense of smell and can smell emotions, which can be really useful.

“He finds out more about himself and is given a sense of place and purpose.”

For more on the book, or to get in touch with Lorraine with requests for school or library talks, visit

The writer is running a creative writing workshop for youngsters at Loughton Library on May 31, from 11am.

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