Building Worton | A Town Shrinks

Whilst searching through my old files I came across a list of Wortonian districts. In the current books it has twelve districts: Continue reading “Building Worton | A Town Shrinks”


Picnic at New Brighton Rock

NOTE: This piece is also available, along with many more, in A Journal of Nearby Places- Available from Amazon.

‘Keep to the right and hold on tight,’ numerous signs abounding the escalator descending into the bowels of Lime Street warns. Naturally, there is one man ahead of me who doesn’t, who does neither, but the shaking, rattling and rolling thing beneath us doesn’t send him on a tumble as the sign hints it will. When a sign is repeated as often as this one is you know that it’s best to obey. Bad things will happen to those who don’t, except for some reason, this time.

I haven’t had a proper adventure since March and it is now August. My mood has been on a real down these last few months and only now do I feel up to getting out and about. But despite being August I have to wrap myself up as though it’s still March. Where did the summer go again? Oh that’s right, even the summer has decided that Britain is now a third rate nation and doesn’t deserve its presence, pretty much like most of the rest of the world. I reflect on this, wondering if it will be warmer next year, as I sit on the platform, being blinded by the Chester train coming through. I come to the conclusion that we’ll never have a summer again. That’s it. That one day we had this year was the sun saying goodbye forever. Then I get distracted by a sign on the platform wall opposite. It’s your bog standard ‘don’t run’ sort of sign but the picture above is just of a pair of shoes, no people, and it looks to me like they’re tap dancing, not running.

Continue reading “Picnic at New Brighton Rock”

Building Worton | Mythological Cheddar

A lot of people utilise mythology in their work. A good example would be American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which transfers the characters of Germanic and Norse Mythology (and others) into the modern world. Success in using mythology often depends on what you are writing and how well you do it. One foot wrong and you’re on the direct, non-stop train to cheeseville. The best way to avoid this mythological cheddar, in my opinion, is to be subtle, to not make any connections overt or in your face. Literally calling your hero Theseus Jones and have him run around a maze in search of a bull like monster isn’t the way to go about things. Continue reading “Building Worton | Mythological Cheddar”

Building Worton | Those Whom We Have Lost

There are a lot of characters in the Dark Legend books. All the books have one main protagonist, Will, and principle antagonist Harris appears in all but the third and fifth books. There are the secondary characters and support characters, who vary from book to book. Secondary includes any character who narrates a section or has a major role whilst I consider support characters as anyone else who features across multiple books or sections or has a big enough impact on the plot but isn’t always involved in the main action. These secondary and support for the first two books are: Continue reading “Building Worton | Those Whom We Have Lost”

Aunt Mable & The Evacuees | Short Story

If you haven’t read the previous Aunt Mable stories, and you really ought to think about it, then this is the basic gist of what is going on: On the day the Second World War begins Mable Morfasson (one S is silent, remember that) comes shuffling out of the fog and back into the castle of Cythry, much to the annoyance of the boys who live there. With her feet well and truly under the table and with all attempts to convince their absent father of her presence, the six boys (Edward having been dispatched to boarding school) plus friend Seb tried to escape to London. They failed. Only now, after this incident, has their Father decided to return…

Continue reading “Aunt Mable & The Evacuees | Short Story”

Edward Gibbon, the Fall of Rome and Me

Whether it was in my secondary school or college library where I was first confronted by Edward Gibbon’s monumental history of the Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire I can’t recall. It is likely to have been the former as before they cut it down by half and moved it to a disused classroom across the campus, where it was never open, my secondary school library had a whole wall of ‘classics’ which nobody except the likes of myself ever went near. I am convinced that Gibbon was included on that wall of books. What I can definitely recall is how astonished I was by the scale of it, six incredibly thick volumes of tiny and complex writing which I could never have hoped to understand at that age. Even if I could have understood it I felt that I would never be able to get through all six volumes. It was too vast, too daunting for me to even comprehend. Naturally, I avoided it for this reason. Continue reading “Edward Gibbon, the Fall of Rome and Me”

Sting: Press Release

STING has arrived… It took a while, two and a half years actually, and mostly because I had to rewrite a couple of chapters. I’ve also been working on other things so there’s that as well. Whilst for ourselves it’s been two and half years since our hero and legend, Will, survived the perils of Runcorn and exposed the arms manufacturer NIRA for the corrupt bastards they are, for him it’s only been a couple of months and he’s determined to find out why they played humanity off against each other. Then it goes horribly wrong. The remnants of humanity, meanwhile, are once again united but there’s a lot of suspicion and doubt and mistrust hanging around. Things are about to break.

Actually, we begin eighteen months ago… From the book’s perspective… But that event is important for it plays into one of the major themes of my epic tale, consequences. Both this and the next book (No Angel Born in Hell) rely heavily on the consequences of the character’s actions. For Will the consequences here are about not being able to save the world, about having to give things up as a dead loss and starting again… Was he right to do that? Joe, meanwhile, is suffering consequences for his both his current actions and his past actions, both good and bad, and like Will he’s going to have to face up to them, though for him it will be a harder road than his best friend has to take (for the moment.) In fact, for everyone, the consequences are starting to show.

With this book we’re going somewhere we’ve never been before, over to the other side of that weird glass wall (the one that disappeared from the old Serpent’s Fall back in Swarm)- It’s Worton, but not as we know it. This is Worton after the fall, after the apocalypse. Will and his friends are about to embark on a road trip into the unknown- But they’re going to soon learn that there’s life beyond the end of the world after all.

If you like things like The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy or Doctor Who you’re likely going to like this- It’s a bit more adult than Doctor Who though, just a warning- In fact, the whole epic saga could be described as Doctor Who meets Skins now I come to think about it. There’s plenty to enjoy in here- Body snatching, gladiatorial combat, Harris doing his best to impersonate Hannibal Lecter… And a significant death. I should also warn you of that one. An already established character is going to die before the end of this book.

One other point of note- There are couple of things in this book which, owing to recent terrorist attacks, some people may find upsetting or distressing. If this is likely to be you then I can only apologise and ask that you only do whatever you feel is right. If that includes avoiding the book for however long you need, that is fine by me. I did delay the release the book by a couple of months but I do have a living to make and other books to get out and I couldn’t put it off any longer. Again, I do apologise. I’ve put a temporary warning in the front of the book as well.

For now it’s only available as an eBook but should be available in paperback next year- The previous book, Stop the Cavalry is having its paperback release in September and I have other new books coming out in November and May so it should be after that.

Right now it’s available worldwide on Amazon and iTunes and should be coming soon to other eBook retailers. Enjoy!


AMAZON: (just change to .COM for the US/whatever local store you use)



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