About Me

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Plymouth, Devon, United Kingdom
West Country author, winner of Piatkus Entice award for historical fiction 2012.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh fickle, fickle me ...

Well then. I've now gone through The Dust of Ancients, after letting it languish in a drawer (metaphorically speaking) for a few years. I'm bound to report that I'm actually quite excited about how crap it isn't, and how I'd done far more towards the sequels than I'd realised. 

Having been so 'into' Penhaligon's Attic recently I wondered if I was now just bored and looking for another project, so I asked my trusty pendulum (pictured below.) I found it - or rather, I think it found me - in a little shop somewhere in middle America, when Tonya and I were searching for something else. No other pendulum since has reacted so strongly for me, and when it reads my deeper wishes and reports back that my subconscious would like to re-visit Bodmin Moor, the spriggans and the rather glorious Richard Lucas, who am I to argue?

So. Penhaligon's Attic is going to be taking a little bit of a breather (the story is more or less sorted and the characters could do with a little bit of time to have a think about how they're going to wow me.) I'm back in the fictional village of Lynher Mill for a while, and ... yeah, I'm excited about it. 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

A Quick Word Or Two. ('zoom' and 'whoosh')

Before I started writing Saturday's Child I wrote another novel - in fact Saturday's Child was number 3 - that I eventually called The Dust of Ancients. I always knew it was going to be very hard to place, being a somewhat blurred-genre piece. However, I enjoyed writing it very much, and I do believe it's a decent piece of work. I even got halfway through the second in the planned trilogy (The Lynher Mill Chronicles) before I felt Saturday's Child beginning to push her way through to the front of my mind, knocking harder and harder 'til I put Lynher Mill to one side and started paying attention. 
So, as a lot of people are doing these days I've been letting my thoughts turn to possibly self-publishing. 

Watch this space, my friends, when I've done a little tightening work on it I'm going to be asking if any of the arty-types among you might be able to come up with a cover. 

I'm actually quite excited about this now. What's to lose, right?

In other news, I've updated my website with the first chapters of both Saturday's Child and Penhaligon's Attic. Outlines and more chapters to follow; please subscribe to this blog to be kept up to date. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Personal -- a question.

How are you supposed to feel when you hear your abuser is terminally ill?

This man was physically violent, an emotional bully, a drunk and a paedophile. He spent most of my childhood either administering a riding crop on bare skin, or behaving in ways I’m not prepared to mention here. I’m not saying there weren’t good times, but they were always overshadowed by wondering how long they would last, and how we were going to pay for them later.

This man tried to mow down my mother and me on a country road in the middle of the night: we had to climb the hedge to escape his car.

This man made me walk about 5 miles down those same country roads with him (also in the middle of the night) and the whole way he was telling me how he was going to kill himself at the other end, that there was a gun in his workshop. Made sure I knew he would probably shoot me first, without actually saying the words (kept reminding me how an old friend of his had killed his wife and himself several years before.) He laughed at me when we got there and the gun wasn’t loaded. Ha ha.

There are other things, too numerous, personal (and hideous) to mention, so, without going into any deeper details I’m wondering now, how I’m supposed to feel when I hear he doesn’t have long to live?

Part of me is viciously glad; part of me feels cheated that he’s going to get away with it, that the rest of my family are still in touch and presumably caring and supportive of him. Natural enough, given that he’s my younger brother’s father, but I feel guilty for that little stab of relief that I won’t have to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder or being afraid to attend family events in case he’s there too.

I know I’m not expected to express regret for his illness, after all I didn’t get so much as a get well card when I was diagnosed with cancer and going through chemotherapy, but I always thought I’d soften a bit towards him if I heard something bad had happened.

I haven’t. Is that wrong?