Writing Projects

Jon Lantern Trilogy
Jon Lantern's Nightmare is the first part of a Jon Lantern trilogy. In the next part, Jon Lantern’s Blind Terror, there is a similar theme but in a global rather than a Cornish setting. The final part of the trilogy, Jon Lantern’s Cosmic Horror, pits Jack, Jon and Angela against an ultimate space-time evil, with a cosmic background. In this story the huge black hole at the centre of the Milky Way takes on an awful, malign, intent.

The second and third parts of the trilogy involve the same three characters, in even more dire circumstances than the nightmare of Sambain's Night. Could there be more than one Master? Is it possible that the apparently terminated Cornish Master could come back in an even more evil form? Will Jack EVER get to really rest?

And do Jon and Angela ever emerge from their dreadful NIGHTMARE? Everything becomes clear in the end, but only for the bravest readers.

The Plughole Boy
The Plughole Boy appears in a dozen stories. These were the first writing I did, stories I made up when my son Daniel was three upwards. When the Plughole Boy disappears down the plughole of his bath one evening he discovers that life in the drains is fun. So he doesn’t come back. The Plughole Boy is a rebel, still in touch with his parents but free and independent. In the drains he can always rely on warm sudsy drenchings from peoples’ baths and showers. He doesn’t want to go to school and underground, he doesn’t have to go to school. In the drains he can navigate the entire town. At night when no one can see him, the Plughole Boy frequently emerges for adventure. He is involved in unexplained rescues. He plays tricks on his mother and on his friend the plumber. He saves animals’ lives and prevents disasters like gas explosions.

In each Plughole Boy story there is a complicity with the listener. The only people who are aware that the Plughole Boy is the main agent are the reader and the listener. To reinforce this, each story finishes in the same way:

And they never found out who did the amazing blank blank blank.
But WE know who it was, don’t we?

After hearing a couple of stories ending this way, children start to join in with the reader for the last two lines. The words become a happy signature.

The Plughole Boy stories have to be illustrated - for their target audience of three to five year olds. Trouble is I can’t draw for toffee. For a long time I hoped that my son Daniel, who is a talented artist, would do some illustrations to help me attract a publisher. Sadly, he has never wanted to. At the moment I’m considering doing some sort of naif illustrations myself, or using one of the programmes that transform photographs - I can do photographs - into faux pencil drawings. We’ll see!

Whistle Sucker
The silencing and indeed the pre-emption of whistle blowing that’s endemic in public life makes me indignant. Whistle Sucker is set in a private hospital. Through the eyes of a courageous theatre sister, the craven motivation of people who seek profit at the expense of everything else is exposed.

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