The Spook’s Apprentice

Book No: 01 of  13 Next

Thomas Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, has been apprenticed to the local spook, John Gregory. The job is hard and many apprentices have failed, over a third dying in training.

Somehow Tom must learn how to exorcize ghosts, contain witches and bind boggarts. But when he is tricked into freeing Mother Malkin, the most powerful and evil witch in the County, the horror begins…

Extract 1

“The Spook’s trained many but precious few completed their time,” Mam said, “and those that did aren’t a patch on him. They’re weak or cowardly. They walk a twisted path taking money for accomplishing little. So there’s only you left now, son. You’re the last chance. The last hope. Someone has to do it. Someone has to stand against the dark. And you’re the only one who can.”

Extract 2

“You see, lad, Mother Malkin will be what we call ‘wick’,” said the Spook. “It’s an old County word that you’re no doubt familiar with. Just as a head of hair can be wick with lice, her dead body is now wick with her wicked spirit. It’ll be heaving like a bowl of maggots and she’ll crawl, slither or drag herself towards her chosen victim.”

Author’s Comments:

The Spook’s Apprentice’ was in development for almost two years. It began as a short story of about twelve thousand words. Later, as it grew, Barry Cunningham of ‘Chicken House’ (the editor who signed JK Rowling) considered it for publication. He gave me some excellent advice but it wasn’t until 2002 that it was finally taken for publication by Charlie Sheppard of Random House Children’s Books. She had a clear vision of how to develop the story further and that first book was now well on its way to becoming a series.

11 comments on “The Spook’s Apprentice

  1. I love your series Joseph your a very good auther I rate you 100,000 out of 100,000 your the best please cary on writing the spooks books I really enjoy them. I’ve just finished reading the spooks nightmare good luck to Tom .J. Ward to beat the Fiend I defiantly know that Tom Alice and Mr Greghory will beat the Fiend and carry on their trade thanks for making the series your fantastic!!!!

  2. i love the spooks series it is fantastic it blew out my mind joseph delaney i rate you 100000 i love it what an author like you boggarts witches it is fantastic

  3. Dear Joseph,

    I just wanted to let you know that around the time my grandparents died, I was very sad indeed, and reading your books during this time really gave me comfort, and lifted my sadness quite a bit. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to you for your wonderful writing. God bless you and Thank you.

    Best Wishes from India


    • Hello Sid
      I too find reading a comfort so it is nice to hear that my books helped you during a sad time in your life.
      Thank you for your message
      best wishes

  4. joseph delaney your books helped when my unle died so it just comforted me
    and it kept me busy from remembering that he died so i appreciate your books and your efforts to me
    you are an inspire to me i will always follow your lead thanks alot i appreciate

    • Glad to hear my books helped you during a difficult time. I have always found reading a great comfort and it was my love of reading that inspired me to write.

  5. This is a great series and I have really enjoyed reading all of your books! The Spooks series is my personal favorite book series of all time! I hope you continue to expand The Spooks world.
    Cheers from New Zealand
    – Bob

  6. The Spook’s Apprentice takes a great part in who I am now. This was my favorite book in my childhood, and still is. I read it again and again.But I still remember the first time I’ve read the book, and I still remember every single detail . Well, it is pretty normal given how many times I’ve read the book. I really can’t tell you how grateful I am to you for this incredible writing. Thank you Joseph. Great book and I hope you live even better life. If that’s possible.

  7. I remember picking up The Spooks Apprentice from the book corner when I was in Year 4, and I was so hooked that I tore through the rest of the series. I recall getting into trouble for reading your books through the night- according to my parents it wasn’t good for my eyes (no glasses yet!). It feels like I grew up with Tom and Alice. Even now, at 21, I hold these books close to my heart. Thanks for making something that has delivered joy to so many kids and adults everywhere! You’re awesome Joseph!

    – Ravi

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