The Second Kind of Darkness
As of September 17, I’m seeking representation for my novel for children aged 9-11, called The Second Kind of Darkness. It is a pacy, gripping adventure which mixes dark humour with Gothic horror, magic with politics, and Norse mythology with a dystopian glimpse of contemporary England.
It stars Grace Brown, who is a strong-minded, scientific girl of eleven, who has been recording The Big Parental Change in her notebook. Her parents, like many others in the country, are being brainwashed by the sinister Mrs Bland, who is leader of the Ordinary People’s Party. Mrs Bland wants to divide society, and blames a persecuted minority called the Normal people for everything that’s wrong in the world. When Grace’s parents betray her to Mrs Bland, Grace must fight for her life. She escapes to join the resistance led by a completely Normal skeleton man called Skelton Yawngrave, whose mysterious Tower is besieged by a violent and murderous mob.
I have been working on this project for almost ten years. Luckily my wife is a primary school headteacher, and many of our friends work with primary school children. This means I have been able to read on several occasions excerpts of earlier versions of this story to children in local schools, and learn and adapt from their feedback.
I also wrote a short spin-off short story called Defenders of Guernsey published in a limited edition to coincide with the first Guernsey Literary Festival. Here’s a snap of me reading it to children here in a tent in St.Peter Port.
Other published prose
I have also written journalism, including features and reviews for publications as diverse as The Architects’ Journal, The Good Book Guide, and On Track Magazine – as well as several healthcare publications.
One or two short stories have appeared online too, but they were early attempts and nothing to be proud of.