Nearly Halloween.

Summer has come and Summer has gone.

It was quite a fraught one for us in lots of ways, but we got through it – and that’s a big thing. We had the worries of losingcntzpgqxeaeo6zh a job, exams to pass and university to get to, and then a plague of rats all rolled into one big mess of Summer. The job side of it, that’s still a work in progress – but university is all exams passed, done and dusted, and the rats – if they are still around – aren’t showing tail or whisker anywhere near us or ours anymore, and that’s just fine by me. Clearing out their mess from a shed left me pumped up to the eyeballs with antibiotics strong enough to burn rust of the bottom of a ship and a lecture from my Doctor all about Weil’s Disease, which you catch from rats and IS THE WORST.

cnwgumtwcaeke8xThe Wrong Train is all launched and out in the shops. We had a small party and people came and waved the story on its way. I’ve always liked making things so I drew up plans for railway lanterns to decorate the party. This was the prototype. One of the things I like best is making up the first one of something and finding out all the places where it just doesn’t work and can be improved on. When it came to making up the final version, I’d have had to draw out the plans for fifteen lanterns and then cut each one out by hand, which would have taken for ever, so my daughter, Bea, who understands materials and laser cutters and wonderfully complicated things like that took me into the studio at her school, transferred my detailed drawings and measurements onto the laser cutter there and had the whole thing drawn, cut out and done in a couple of hours. If she hadn’t helped, I’d still be making the things.

This is Bea doing all the work, the finished lanterns all painted and done, and me, Jack, Lizzie, Bea and Alice outside the launch party at Hunting Raven Books in Frome.




The book is being well received, and that makes me happy. Stories need to be read – they are no good just left sitting unseen and unheard of. The book’s being given a nudge too by the arrival of Halloween. People like a scary story or two at Halloween, and this coming week I’ll be posting on reviewer’s blogs.

I’ve tried to do something very different for each one, and if you’d like to follow the posts, click on these Monday the 24th October through to Saturday the 30th. They’re hosting one post each and it was fun writing them – The Reader’s Corner on the 24th Your Best Book Pal on the 25th Empire of Books on the 26th who will be posting an extract EBookwyrm that will be on the 27th. Dark Readers will post on the 28th Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books on the 29th rounding off with Sam’s Book Corner on the 30th

I’m very conscious that I need to add a new page to my website for The Wrong Train to say a bit about it, maybe video a reading, and it strikes me that perhaps it’s time for my whole site to be dusted up a bit. So I’ll save making a new page until I’ve thought a bit more about other changes – maybe a new site, new art and new pages. I’m slow at doing some things, but I’ll get round to it.

In the meantime, Halloween is almost sitting on your doorstep.

Better light it a pumpkin, or you don’t know what might come calling.


The Wrong Train

L1210214The preview copies of my new book have just been sent out to reviewers and booksellers, and now comes the untidy wait to see how well it is received, or if at all. So many new books are published each month that it feels like a competition in which writers, agents and publishers are all crammed into one airless little room all shouting ‘Look at me! No! Look at Me!!’ I really am not a big fan of that at all, but it’s a whole thing. Publicity departments work their socks off trying to find the ‘unique selling point’ of an author or a book. Me? I just like saying ‘come here and I’ll tell you a story that will make you not want to turn the lights out at night.’

Odd thing in the fence by window today a staining that I hadn’t noticed before butClYSmWXVAAAR0Dx looks for all the world as though someone has peeled the lips and nose from their face and pressed them into the wood. It’s quite disturbing in a small but persistent way and makes me think there might just be a story one day in something like that. I’m wondering too whether over the next few days the whole face is going to appear, and if it did that would be really, really, creepy.



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