Friday, 17 October 2008

My Book on Authonomy

I guess most blog writers are frustrated authors and I'm no exception. This is a shameless plug for my children's comedy novel "Fair-Eyes" which has just been posted on Harper Collins' "Authonomy" web site (

I say children's novel but it's probably more appropriately described as "young adult" - say 12+ through to adult. It's kind of in the fantasy genre but not really. There are elves, it's true, but their society and foibles are just a thin disguise for a parody of our own society.

If this interests you at all, please take a mosey on down to Authonomy and take a look. If you like it then register with the site and put it on your bookshelf. The more people who do that, the higher my ranking.

To give you a flavour and whet your appetite, here's the "blurb"

"Saving a nation can be a tricky business at the best of times and being adopted by a pet dragon pup, who can cock its leg and melt a lamp post, really doesn’t help." [from "Once a Hippie" by Bartholomew Harvester, Books-Elf Publications].

Trapped by an underground rock fall, Eve and Paul stumble upon the bizarre world of the "Fair-eyes", a subterranean elf clan whose society and foibles are curiously reminiscent of our own.

The kidnap of a princess catapults the children into a desperate and dangerous rescue mission but is everything as it seems? Could the pathologically stupid Goblins really have hatched this plot on their own or are there darker forces at work? Was the princess the real target or is someone playing for even bigger stakes? Why do all your biros go missing and you keep finding unidentified keys at the back of the kitchen drawer?

Suspend your disbelief from a clean pair of suspenders and let’s go rescue a princess. She’s a celebrity for heaven’s sake. Get her out of there…

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Long haul, but without the plane

Arguably one of the most boring things in the entire universe is when folk regale you with a detailed account of their last holiday. It is perhaps a close run thing alongside what they dreamed last night or how well their kids are doing at university, but it's certainly up well up there in the yawn stakes.

I was therefore surprised, and not a little apprehensive, when approached by my firm's in-house magazine for a description of a trip earlier this year. Perhaps I should explain a little more. My nearest and dearest doesn't like flying. Indeed it would be more accurate to say that she doesn't fly. It's simply not an option. Any suggestions that she could overcome this by going on a course or taking therapy fall upon deaf ears. To her it is not an irrational fear to be surpressed with suitable training. It is a healthy survival instinct to be nurtured and encouraged.

This can be slightly limiting when it comes to holiday destinations but we were determined not to let it get in the way of our ambition to visit Morocco. Perhaps I should add that we live in the South of England. Most people seem to assume that such a journey cannot be achieved without the aid of an airoplane. Not so. I can now verify that not only is an airoplane entirely unnecessary but actually the journey is much more pleasurable without one. The journey becomes part of the holiday itself - a great adventure conducted at a pace reminiscent of a more leisurely age, with time to stop and smell the roses on the way.

It just so happened that the in-house magazine was doing a series on reducing your carbon footprint when they got wind of our plans. The notion of travelling overland to Morocco intrigued them sufficiently to generate the invitation.

I was determined this wasn't going to be the literary equivalent of imposing your holiday snaps on the neighbours so I decided it had to be funny, pithy and of general interest even to those who don't know me from Adam. What I had in mind was a Michael Palin style travelogue. Was I successful? Well the magazine editor was so enthusiastic he serialised my efforts over three issues. If you want to judge for yourself, you can find it here. If you follow the link at least you have chosen to read it so I can't be accused of inflicting it on anyone.

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