Tuesday, 27 June 2017
My new novel, 'Fellowship of Ink' is out, and I've just received my author copies. The blurb is reproduced below, and you'll see that it involves Brenda, who's appeared in some previous novels of mine. This one, though, can be read as a standalone and a starting point, since it reintroduces her and puts her in a whole new context - the university town of Darkholmes in the 1930s.
This is a novel about professors and housemaids and witches fighting demons and meeting monsters and talking animals in a university town that seems to be the nexus point for many dimensions. It involves freak shows and strange towers and trips between different worlds.
I really hope you like it. I'm so pleased Snowbooks were so keen to publish it. I can't tell you how difficult it is, in this day and age, to carry on publishing the kinds of fiction I want to write. Fiction that blends different genres and involves characters and situations that aren't, perhaps, quite conventional.
It's a tricky and unique road I'm following here... but I'm not being deterred and I'll keep heading my own way. I am of course extremely grateful to those of you who've kept on following me over the years and through all these many books!
Thursday, 22 June 2017
This is an excerpt from a lecture / essay I'm writing...
"Dad was in charge of my Saturdays. First he’d pick me up, in a scene reminiscent of Cold War dramas and the covert handing over of hostages and spies. Then – Newton Aycliffe town library. A tiny building, book-lined and safe, everything smoothed with plastic laminate. Chipboard and one glass wall. Familiar.
But he wouldn’t let me borrow anything from the fiction section.
‘Ah, lad. Story books are just for girls.’ He steered me firmly towards the other side of the Children’s section. And tried to get me reading books about football, war and cars.
I could have wept. I didn’t, though.
I found the bits of non-fiction that I could use. That I could make stories out of. Ancient Egyptians. Prehistoric Monsters. Romans. Vikings. Mysteries of the Unknown. UFOs. Ghosts. The Earth, Stars and Planets. These were the kinds of books I ended up receiving for birthdays and Christmas. Oh, he likes space, he likes nature and history. He likes Evolution and cavemen and dinosaurs.
My guilty secret was that I hardly ever read the text in those books. I pored over illustrations of luminously beautiful planets and graceful flesh-eating monsters at the dawn of time. All the factual matter I didn’t give a stuff about. I pretended to be taking it all in.
Instead I stared at rockets and tyrannosaurs and made up my own tales.
And I longed for fiction."