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Autobiographical Defenders of Guernsey Guernsey Prose

‘Defenders of Guernsey’ now on kindle

I have revised ‘Defenders of Guernsey’. This second edition, for an 8-to-adult age is now available on Kindle.

As a child my grandparents lived in a road in Guernsey called La rue des Grons. When I lived there as a child, and then stayed with my grandparents on every school holiday the few streetlights went off at 10.30. It was very dark and definitely spooky. Just down the road was a spot that my grandfather, David Marquis, used to zoom past at night. This place was known as Le coin de La Biche (the goat’s corner) and was rumoured to be haunted by the apparition of an enormous nanny goat.

Still the most authoritative book on Guernsey folklore, Folklore of Guernsey by Marie DeGaris devotes a few paragraphs to the giant red-eyed beast and its fearsome sightings, one of which scared a 16 year old girl to death.  I was always happy about La Biche, as it’s not everyone lucky enough to have a star of folklore living a hundred yards or so down the road.

I’ve been working on a children’s character called Skelton Yawngrave for some time. I am now on the sixth draft of a novel which features him. However, when I was invited to the first Guernsey literary festival in 2011 to talk to some children, I thought I would write a longish (13,000 word) short story called Defenders of Guernsey featuring Skelton and La Biche which was published then as a limited edition.

My friend Amanda Milne is developing a board game set on the island, and having read this story borrowed the idea of a terrifying goat. Amanda’s game is now in its a prototype form and being tested by games players. You can read more about the SchilMil game in development here.

Defenders of Guernsey Kindle
Defenders of Guernsey now on kindle. My mother Margaret Hamlin painted La Biche for the cover.
Categories
Fiction Games Guernsey Literature Marketing

The Devil’s Goat on Guernsey

My friend, Kiwi board game inventor Amanda Milne’s new game is now at prototype stage and is being play tested. Its working title is The Devil’s Goat and is based on Guernsey. Turns out it was sparked off by a children’s short story I had written for the Guernsey Literary Festival. As this story was published as a very limited one-off, I have been contemplating reissuing it as an ebook but if Mandy’s game takes off I might have to pull my finger out.

Mandy writes:

Inspired by a short story called the ‘Defenders of Guernsey‘ written by my friend Peter Kenny, I have been researching The Channel Islands and specifically Guernsey’s rich history of witchcraft and evil goings on…

Witchcraft is said to abound in the island. Both black and white witches are said to practice in Guernsey. The black witches were said to practice ritual witchcraft. They held assemblies and covens to summon demons and devils. The black witches were said to be led by an unknown person, who often disguised himself as an animal. Although the leader changed, it was always known as the Devil. Reports say they usually disguised themselves as cats and goats.

A couple of iterations on from the first rough sketch and I have a working prototype that is about to start formal testing. The working name is The Devil’s Goat.

In the game, players take on one character who lives on the island. Each character has their own secret agenda.  Rumours abound, goat sightings and attacks occur; journalists pay money for stories true or otherwise.  Each player is trying to achieve their own goal before the Devil’s Goat runs amok and tries to kill them. At that point in the game it becomes a team effort to stay alive: the characters versus the Goat!

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For more on Mandy’s great idea, visit SchilMil here.