YA Shot Blog Tour: Exploring Libraries with author Lu Hersey


I’m thrilled to be able to say that I’m taking part in the Blog Tour for YA Shot,  a wonderful one-day Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG)  festival taking place later this month.  Click on the logo above to find out more about this brilliant event!!

YA Shot takes place not only to promote YA and MG writing and writers  but to spread the importance of libraries as free centres of learning and reading for pleasure. So I’m joined today by Lu Hersey, the author of the Deep Water (my review for it is here) to talk about her love for libraries!

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To begin I’d just like to welcome Lu to Reading in the Rain, it really is lovely to have you here! Would you like to say a little something about yourself ?

Thanks Ally!  I write YA myth based fiction in a kitchen sink paranormal style. I also work in a library (the Arts and Social Sciences library at Bristol University) and love books (obviously!). My fiction involves a lot of research, and non fiction books on myth and ancient cultures are a particular favourite source of material.

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Now, let’s talk libraries!

Personally I have a great adoration of libraries. If you can’t find me at my desk at home (or my bed for that matter) then you’re most likely to spot me at my local library; situated in a Grade 1 listed building it contains a number of different towers, halls and stained glass windows and is absolutely beautiful! It feels like stepping straight into a 16th century castle.

Lu was kind enough to share her top 4 legendary and mythical libraries that she’d love to visit:

1) The Hall of Records

under the sphinx

A photo of Lu searching for the legendary library in true archaeological style!

Legend has it that this storehouse of Egyptian knowledge – including the history of the lost continent of Atlantis – is still hidden somewhere under the Great Sphinx of Giza. Conspiracy theorists tell us American and Egyptian government officials have repeatedly forbidden any exploration – but there are still rumours of cavities and tunnels under the Sphinx (discovered by ground breaking radar) which remain unexplored…the Hall of Records should probably be confined to the realms of pseudo archaeology, but I want to find it. Obviously.

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2) The Library of Alexandria


This library definitely existed – and at a time long before printing, so unique copies of the most AMAZING STUFF were lost forever in the fires that that destroyed it. From my point of view, the most interesting scrolls would have been those on ancient magic and culture. Papyrus scrolls that explained the meaning of life, death and the universe (er, probably). A number of scrolls were supposedly rescued from the fire and stored elsewhere in Alexandria, but disappeared in AD 391 (along with many of Alexandria’s great temples) when Pope Theophilus of Alexandria destroyed all things pagan. Which shows that religious zealots destroying buildings and written works that don’t fit into their view of the universe is by no means a new phenomenon.

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3) The House of Wisdom

House of Wisdom

The House of Wisdom, or Abbasid library in Bagdad, was a major centre of learning in the Islamic Golden Age. A place where scholars from all religious backgrounds shared ideas and information, books and scrolls in the library collection covered many fields of study – including astronomy, alchemy, humanities and medicine. Astronomical observatories were also  built as part of the complex. The House of Wisdom was sadly destroyed in the Mongol Siege of Baghdad in 1258.

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4) The Lost Library of John Dee


Elizabethan court magician John Dee is a fascinating character. Infamous for his attempts to make contact with other-worldly spirits, during his lifetime Dee collected a number of magical objects (you can see a collection of Dee’s magical objects, including his obsidian scrying mirror, in the British museum) and a large collection of books and manuscripts on subjects such as magic, navigation, astrology, mathematics and alchemy. His library was pillaged, and the books destroyed or dispersed, when he was travelling in Europe. A small part of his collection survives, but most of it was sadly lost forever.

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If I could visit any fictional library it would undoubtably have to be the library of Hogwarts because who wouldn’t?! I’d give anything to get my hands on some Magic Books, plus I bet their YA is absolutely crazy!


A huge thank you to Lu for being here, thank you for sharing your love of libraries with us. I wish you luck in your search for The Hall of Records and be sure to send us an invite when you find it!


What if you discovered you weren’t who – or even what – you thought you were? Suddenly people start to fear you. They think you’re evil. Cursed. And then they want to destroy you.

Danni never knew about her family’s strange legacy until her mum disappeared. And now the only way to save those she loves from a living hell is to embrace her incredible new gift – however impossible it seems.

A compelling and beautiful story of family secrets, elemental magic, and the deepest mysteries of the sea.


3 thoughts on “YA Shot Blog Tour: Exploring Libraries with author Lu Hersey

  1. Could easily have rabbited on about lost and mythical libraries all night – thanks for helping with this, Ally! Good job blog posts have boundaries or everyone would have gone into coma… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thought of everything inside The Library of Alexandria being destroyed makes me so angry!! I can’t even imagine the extraordinary books that were lost. All that history and knowledge just gone.

    But on a happier note I can also always be found in my local library or on my bed haha. The two most comfortable places in the world for me 😀

    Great post!

    Rebecca x

    Liked by 1 person

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