Monkey Business now available

At last, the third novel in the Petticoat Katie series is available!

Monkey Business is now available on Kindle and Kobo – before Yuletide, as promised.

Find the paperback at CreateSpace and Amazon (USA). It takes a little longer for the paperbacks to show up on Amazon(UK), but it’s there now.

The first novel in the series is Maiden Flight, a wild goose chase involving a hundred monkeys and a remarkable little airship.

The second novel in the series is Boom Town, a very silly caper involving folding bicycles, guerrilla gardeners and slightly fewer than a hundred monkeys.

Monkey Business is the third novel in the series, with more than a hundred monkeys and a substantial woman tweaking a cinema pipe-organ into full-blown Sonic Attack.

This completes the trilogy I set out to write a couple of years ago. In the meantime, four other novels have suggested themselves, and my only problem now is working out which one of the four is closest to being ready to storyboard. I’m also pleased because I’ve managed to write and publish one of these a year since 2012, which is a first for me.

But first, the celebration! Hurrah!

Maiden Flight by Vita Tugwell - Cover Boom Town by Vita Tugwell - Cover Image Monkey Business Ebook Cover

Published in: on December 17, 2014 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on Monkey Business now available  
Tags: , , , , ,

Fih-nished!

Finished! The edits on Monkey Business, the third Petticoat Katie novel, were completed on 30 November.Monkey Business Ebook Cover

I am particularly pleased with this as the novel completes a trilogy, and not only gives me a new novel to publish but also a three-book compendium, to be published before Yuletide. (Yayy).

This is also the first time I’ve written a trilogy. (Double yayy).

A time of minor celebration, and of review, so I can apply the findings to new writing projects.

Just in time, too, as I’m coming down with a cold and going on another work-related training course that I expect will drain my energy levels as much as the one in January. (Un-yayy).

Of course, now I’ve finished this one I can start planning the next. I’ve another four in this series, loosely linked to the trilogy, and they’re going to be fun.

Bring on the goats.

Published in: on December 3, 2014 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

How I met Lord Brandoch Daha

I picked up The Worm Ouroboros in a second-hand bookshop more than ten years ago. The title intrigued me, with its hints of esoteric mysticism and its old-fashioned use of the word Worm. The Worm, or wyrm, is an Old English word for dragon, but the ouroboros is Greek, alchemical, and is signified by a serpent biting its own tail – it’s the equivalent of a Möbius strip, the never-ending and ever-repeating flow of energy that is harnessed by Enochian magic.

Fascinating, indeed.How I met Lord Brandoch Daha, and Goldry Bluszco, and Queen Sophonisba

When I turned over the cover I was even more intrigued by the book. The art on my copy was the 1960s paperback, a childish style that mimics the woodblock style that Tolkien favoured for his own art and also references Lowry and Bruegel. The artist is unlisted, and according to the ISFDB there is no record elsewhere, which is disappointing.

My childhood, in the 1970s, was littered with books under these type of covers, and the jumble sales I frequented in the 1980s also steamed with this sort of artwork on book covers, mainly for children. There’s a touch of Noggin The Nog about it.

Anyhow, the appearance of The Worm Ouroboros in my local Oxfam bookshop coincided with my reading of the Histories of The Lord Of The Rings. The cover copy emphasised that Eddison  had been the writer used as comparison when Tolkien first appeared. I’d read the C S Lewis Cosmic Trilogy by then, and the full five volumes of T H White’s Once And Future King (which I adore – more on that elsewhere).

I was eager for more of the same.

So far, without even opening the book, I was intrigued. I had to be careful, though – it was a paperback which had obviously been well-loved, and was wrapped in sticky-backed plastic, and the glue along the spine that kept the pages in place was growing brittle with age. With gentle care I parted the covers to see if the words inside were what I was looking for.

It was.

Eddison’s language, when I flipped through the pages, was a challenge.

He challenged me to read him.

His prose is old skool even for those of us who love old skool. He’s been compared to Elizabethan English, to Shakespeare, and his use of language in The Worm Ouroboros certainly has that cadence and complexity of form.

He challenged me.

I rose.

I’ve read books where the story is sometimes tangled up in the writer showing off their mastery of something more than writing. Umberto Eco’s Name Of The Rose is one example – I came to the book after falling in love with the film, watching it more than a dozen times, and also with the words of my English-teacher father ringing in my ears that “Eco shows off” in his writing.

When I got round to reading the book of Name Of The Rose, I found myself skipping parts of the page when he got too tied up in monkish politics or descriptions of church procedures. Nice, but a bit like the raisins in a rum’n’raisin ice-cream – adds texture, doesn’t change the flavour. (At least I didn’t do what I did with Moby Dick [short of hurling it at the wall] and skip whole pages.)

Anyhow.

Eddison isn’t one of those writers. His prose is elaborate where needed, and adds juice to his fruit. The characters are mega-characters, straight out of the heroic epics, as if the Norse Gods had grown up in Ancient Greece or Turkey, and they act with such mature grace it makes us all feel like awkward adolescents.

The textures he evokes, the journey, is purposeful, and makes you want to follow wherever he goes.

The Worm Ouroboros itself is a trope, a meme, a theme throughout the book that lends an edge to the story but isn’t part of it. There’s no dragon hunt, no actual worm, no rescue of maidens.

There are enormous characters who live their lives with the strength of mythic beasts.

I wish Eddison was more accessible, because he deserves it. The Lord Brandoch Daha and Queen Sophonisba deserve it, the epic journeys they undertake across the landscape of his world. Game Of Thrones has nothing on this.

But I also like Eddison’s obscurity. It’s like a secret handshake. A key to a hidden land, perhaps, and only on Goodreads have I found fellow travellers.

If you’re up for a challenging read, an epic of heroes and villains and opulence and mythic elegance, for characters that glow with life and landscapes that maim the mind’s eye with their beauty, come join us.

Again, and again, and again.