Monday, 3 November 2008

Gremals at Hornchurch

This morning I visited Hornchurch Library to donate five copies of Gremal Quest to the Havering library service. Cabinet member for culture, Cllr Andrew Curtin, was on hand to take delivery. Now people in Havering can enjoy my novel for free just by visiting the local library.

Of course the book is still available for purchase online - just click the link to the right...

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Gremal Quest's Latest Fan...

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, enjoys a few moments of peace!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Gremal Quest in The Guardian

The Redbridge Guardian, that is. In this article Sara Dixon reminds us that other politicians from the area - Iain Duncan Smith and Winston Churchill - also wrote books. Read the article by clicking on the link to the right...

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Raising the Dead

In this scene, the villains raise a creature from beyond the grave. Skrubb looks on from a place of concealment.

They stepped forward and looked down into the coffin.

Skrubb stood on his tiptoes, unable to look away.

A faint smell hung around them, not of death but of great age. The body was wrapped in ancient linen, a tall man with broad shoulders. No details or decorations interrupted the tightly wound bandages which had preserved the corpse for generations. The contrast with the elaborate mummies in the hall down the corridor could not have been more complete.

'Is this him?' Khan spoke softly. 'He doesn't look regal.'

'Silence, show some respect,' Lilyth hissed. 'He doesn't have to look regal, that's the whole point. Morkhet was a humble advisor to kings. Now step back, both of you and give me room.'

She took an ornate glass flask from her belt and tugged the stopper out. Pale vapours spiralled up through the broken windows, into the night sky, mingling with the gently falling rain. Lilyth ignored the drops that fell on her upturned face and splattered inside the coffin. Tilting the flask, she poured the contents onto the body, working quickly along its length from feet to head. Setting the flask aside, she opened the black volume and started to recite its dark words.

Harewood gripped Khan's arm. A great steam was rising from the body and Lilyth's words, whispered in a sibilant tone, seemed nevertheless to echo in the vault and press around them like malignant bats.

Skrubb cringed and whimpered, his eyes widening as something started to move inside the cloud of vapour.

The corpse was sitting up!

Lilyth stepped away from the sarcophagus and the body slowly struggled to its feet, scrambling over the side of the coffin and standing in front of her. The limbs moved with a sinister creaking as ancient sinew and bones awoke and felt their freedom after thousands of years of slumber. Clouds of dust and vapour hung around the terrifying figure like a sinister fog, pulsating with a sandy brown glow that spoke of ancient sunlight beating on the desert.

She set the book aside and stood with arms outstretched, taking the bandaged hands in her own.

'My God!' Khan gasped.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

The Arrival

Gremal Quest begins with the arrival of a strange creature. Who is he? What has brought him here?

Skrubb sniffed loudly, sampling the air. Little variations in scent, a noticeable drop in temperature, a creeping chill. Night was falling up above. Vibrations had ceased: nobody was about. Time to go.

He shifted his weight and stretched up, clawing at the soft soil. Clods of dark earth and small stones rained down on his head and shoulders, catching in his curly hair, rattling as they fell away into the narrow shaft below. He was careful to keep his bare feet wedged into the toe holds he had cut, for the tunnel behind him was steeply inclined and very deep. His fingers brushed at hanging roots, which clustered together, forming a closely knit ceiling above him.

Breathing deeply, he tore and ripped at the shaggy lattice, tugging the roots aside. A shower of fine earth and leaf mould poured down, clogging his eyes and nose. His feet lost their grip and he slipped, sliding down several feet before his claws dug into the soft earth and slowed his fall. fresh air flooded into the burrow carrying a confusion of woodland scents in its wake. all at once he could smell vegetation, animals, burning, water. His nostrils flared and he shook his head, struggling to overcome the alien barrage. Above he saw a ragged circle of pale light. Panting, he pulled himself toward it.

Skrubb's head popped out of the ground in the shadow of a huge oak. He turned slowly through a complete circle, his large eyes counting the trees that loomed around him. The wood was like a great hall with the trunks as pillars and a vaulted roof of branches. Accustomed to the long dark, he could see easily in this moonlit gloom. At irregular intervals pale beams shone down through gaps in the branches, silvering the carpet of fallen leaves. He resolved to avoid these illuminated spots. Don't let them see you! Don't let them catch you!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Gremal Quest - The Novel

Imagine arriving in London alone, on a dark night, with no knowledge of the city and no friends to rely on...

You have just three days to track down a thief and recover the treasure he stole - or your family will be put to death...

And you aren't even human.

Gremal Quest tells the story of Skrubb, a visitor from caverns deep underground, as he pursues his greedy cousin on a frantic treasure hunt around - and beneath - the streets of London. From the British Museum at night to the glittering towers of Canary Wharf, from a dark lake beneath the Tower of London to the very corridors of power, the chase is on. And powerful enemies also seek the prize.

Gremal Quest is a novel for readers aged ten and older. Buy it now by clicking the link on the right!