Welcome to this virtual landscape where SCBWI-BI members share their debut journeys with us. This month Helen Victoria steps out with author B B Taylorwhose debut The Vigilante Tooth Fairy was out in March 2020.

Let’s begin our journey. 

There’s nothing like a good walk to fuel creative ideas and give us inspiration in our writing. Where are you taking us on our walk today? 

Today we are heading to Newborough National Nature Reserve and Forest. In my opinion it’s the only place to get the best of many worlds in one place. Shaped over thousands of years, it takes you through a million gateways into worlds you never knew stood side by side. From the coastal dunes and rocky hills, to the towering forests and never-ending winding trails, there is inspiration for miles, and always something new to explore each time you take a different path. Whether looking for pirates from the lighthouse, or hunting for sea monsters in the hidden rock pools, you never know where adventure will jump out from next! 

What about the landscape you have created in your novel? How important is the setting to your plot and themes? 

The Vigilante Tooth Fairy welcomes us to the land of Tooth, home to the all important Tooth Fairies, collectors of teeth and magic. The land of Tooth is a hidden land only seen by those who have the gift of magic. It's filled with colour from the glow of the magic that poured out into the land thanks to the teeth that the fairies collect. At the centre of Tooth is the Grand Old Fairy’s castle, home to the council of Fairies who rule over Tooth and make sure that the magic is collected to keep the fairies and all of Tooth alive. 

As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand steps starts with one. Tell us about your inspiration for your novel. 

I started writing the story when I was in hospital several years ago. There was a competition to submit the first thousand words and originally the story was all about a little girl who wanted to believe in magic but realised that none of her friends did anymore. The story didn’t get picked for the competition and sat in a drawer for several years before I came back to it. It was then I realised the story was about Mouse the fairy instead. I had seen lots of fairy stories but had yet to comes across many chapter books about the tooth fairy, so the Vigilante Tooth Fairy was born. From there the story just seemed to write itself.

Now we have got into our stride, can you tell us what you loved most about writing this book? 

It just felt right, the story seemed to pull me along with it and develop in a way I hadn’t anticipated. The little girl in the story is named after my little sister who has overcome so many obstacles, I believe she is magic herself! I had always wanted to write but had never imagined myself as an author, I just loved to daydream and imagine. 

We seem to be lost in the woods now. Can you describe your most difficult moments when you were writing …, and how you got back onto the right path? 

After the book had sat in the drawer for a while, those first thousand words … I thought the story just wasn’t meant to be. But then out of nowhere it just clicked and Mouse was there waiting to tell me how the story was meant to be, guiding me through her adventure. It was then I knew I was going to finish the book. The Vigilante Tooth Fairy had several rejections, several publishers had said it wasn’t long enough, that chapter books just weren’t what they were looking for anymore, but I just had a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on, so I didn’t give up. I didn’t quite know why, but it just wouldn’t leave me alone so I kept submitting it and eventually it found the home it deserved. To me, a rejection isn’t the end it’s just the opportunity to explore more options and try more doors. The more something is rejected the more I look at it and ask myself how passionate about this project am I? Could I walk away and forget about it? If the answer is no then I keep going back to it, revising it, revisiting it and submitting it. It’s the ability to not give up and to keep attacking it head on until it clicks with the right person at the right time, sometimes that can be a long process. I was very lucky to be working with a fab team who really took on board my vision and my opinions. There was a great relationship back and forth throughout the editing process and I think it really helped bring the book to another level. Just like with the illustration process, they just got it, they got me and when I saw the cover I was like that’s it! Exactly how I had envisioned it in my head. 

As we reach the summit, can you tell us how it feels to be a first time author? 

So this was my first traditionally published book, but it came out at the start of lockdown so most of my journey has had to be virtual and online, but I can’t wait to get out there once it’s safe to do so and meet as many readers as possible. I’ve been really lucky with the support and positive feedback from the book community that has enabled the book to do so well in such uncertain times, and for that I am so grateful! From bloggers, to teachers, writers and other creatives, the support has been amazing. There were so many people to thank I was worried about missing people out, from my amazing publishers at Tiny Tree to my family, my SCBWI friends and my writing buddies, there were so many people who supported me, encouraged me and refused to let me give up. Without them I wouldn’t have got to where I am now. 

We’ve finished our walk now so I think we deserve to celebrate with tea in a cosy inn. As we warm our feet by the blazing fire, tell me where you think your writing will take you in the future? 

I honestly don’t care where it takes me as long it is filled with adventure. I am constantly exploring new ideas and projects in so many different settings. I love the buzz and excitement of creating and exploring a new world. Nothing quite compares to it. The first lines of something new I recently wrote? Lets see… “The creaking of the boards seemed to follow Flora as she shuffled on small feet up towards the great swaying ship. She balanced her small little grubby bag over her tiny shoulder and read the faded name painted on the side - The Charlotte. This was the one.” 

Finally, I have really enjoyed walking and talking with you today. Can you give us one take away tip for yet-to-be-published writers? 

Stubbornness, perseverance and a thick skin. Don’t let anyone take your dream away from you. Your stories are just as valid as anyone else’s. So learn, grow and evolve as a writer, but just don’t ever give up!


Professional Daydreamer and superhero in training, Midlands-based author B B Taylor has been writing for several years, creating stories from Yetis and werewolves right through to raccoons and fairies. When B B Taylor isn’t creating stories she can be found spending time with her animals or trying to learn something new! 

Follow B B:
Twitter: @BB_Taylor_
Instagram: @b_b_taylor


Helen Victoria is a writer of YA fiction, a full-time drama teacher and a reader of anything and everything. When she is not putting on shows, reading or writing, Helen loves to walk in wild places, or hang out with her family and friends in London, France and Cornwall.

Follow Helen:
Twitter: @helensimmons100


Imogen Foxell is an illustrator with a particular interest in creating intricate imaginary worlds. She illustrates English literature revision cards for, and interesting words for Her website is Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. 

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