My blog: find out what progress I'm making with new
books, and hear about my plans
Note to primary school teachers
Lately I’ve had a lot of emails from teachers who
are looking for something I wrote called “The Enemy Airman.”
If you're looking for it, click here.
While stocks last, the Joslin de Lay Mysteries,
the Hare Trilogy and Out of the Mouths of Babes are sold as new, signed
by the author and personally dedicated to the buyer if specified !
Click here for
If you want to see want you can buy that is
currently in print, there is an update to this section here. For links to buy
books secondhand through Amazon Marketplace, see the complete works here.
You can purchase all my current books at Amazon,
and you can even get the older ones from Amazon marketplace.
Now available from OUP
The paperback edition of Mystery Stories - click
on the picture. From creepy school computers to bungling bank
robbers; from lost villages to deadly Christmas presents :
- BRIGHT SEA, DARK GRAVES, my books set in
the Napoleonic Wars which tell the story of a young midshipman, Edward
Trefusis, will be published soon by Catnip Books.
The first book is called THE GUNS OF ST THERESE, the second is THE
NIGHTMARES OF INVASION. I’m just starting the third. I’ll
wait till nearer the time to say anything much about them.
No cover pictures yet either.
- The Joslin de lay Mysteries are now out
of print, though we are hoping that another publisher will reissue
them. However, HELL’S KITCHEN, the third in the series, will soon
appear in Print on Demand. This book is set in
medieval Oxford and is being brought back so that it can be included on
a list of books on Oxford soon o be published
- WATCH OVER HER, a ghost/horror story, is
to be published by Evans in their Sharp Shades series
DIVIDED LOYALTIES, the sequel to ELLEN’S
PEOPLE, is published by Walker
'Divided Loyalties is a magnificent
achievement which should surely endure for years as an outstanding
novel of the Second World War for young readers.' Linda Newbery /
'This is a superior teen fiction
from a master of the history for children genre.' Verbal Magazine /
Belfast News Letter Group
It takes up the story where ELLEN’S PEOPLE
left off. Ellen and Matthias are married.
They have three children, Walter, Paul and Anna.
They have left Lambsfield and now live in Peterspury, a
village in Northamptonshire.
Soon, war clouds gather again.
They hit Matthias worst. He lives in
England now and from his vantage point sees how wrong the course Adolf
Hitler is leading his countrymen is. But
he is loyal to his family, who follow the new ideas. His
nephew Helmut is in he Hitler Youth and he wonders whether if he still
lived in Germany would he be any different.
Walter, their oldest child, hates his
father. This hatred began in his early childhood:
he has long forgotten its cause. He hates it that his father
is German while he wants to be completely English. Paul is
quieter and much happier. He has passed to go to the Grammar
School. Anna, the youngest, thinks only of her
music and already is playing the violin.
As war comes, Ellen’s family is thrown into
turmoil. There is much to happen, with turmoil and
heartbreak, before the war is over and things begin to right themselves.
Here are two extracts which I hope may whet
The first is when Walter is in the RAF.
The Battle of Britain is raging. He is an
engine mechanic servicing Rolls Royce Merlins and stationed at RAF
Biggin Hill, Kent. He has just met Julie, a WAAF, and is
desperate to know her better. On August 31st, 1940, the
Luftwaffe launches a major raid on Biggin Hill.
Download extract 1 coming soon.
The second comes very near the end.
The war has been over for nearly
a year Anna is now a music student at the Royal
College of Music. At Easter she comes home and goes to a
concert in which Elgar’s Cello Concerto will be played.
Download extract 2 coming soon.
You can buy DIVIDED LOYALTIES direct from
or from Amazon here.
I’ve already started writing the third in
DIVIDED LOYALTIES was shortlisted
for the Calderdale Book of the Year 2009
Ellen's People in America !
Ellen's People is now
published in the USA by Candlewick,
under the title Without Warning: Ellen's Story 1914-1918. Buy
Read a new feature about the writing process
for Ellen here.
ELLEN’S PEOPLE is now published in the UK.
Set in the First World War it tells the
story of Ellen who, when the war starts in 1914 is a fifteen year-old
girl living in a sleepy village in Sussex, perfectly content with life
with her family. But terrible events
which affect her personally make her change her mind: when the war ends
four years later she has been on a long journey which has atken her far
away from Lambsfield – and far away also from her early, innocent life.
Find out more about writing the novel here.
ELLEN’S PEOPLE was longlisted for the
Leicester, Doncaster and Highland Book Prizes and shortlisted for the
Hampshire Book Prize.
Here are two extracts to whet your appetites.
The first extract takes place in 1916, shortly
before the Battle of the Somme. Ellen is now
seventeen. Last year, at a dance in the big house
where she worked as a servant, to which soldiers from the nearby camp
who were shortly of to France, she met Archie from Yorkshire and they
liked each other very much. Now Archie is on home leave
before the big push and has invited Ellen to spend a day with him in
London before he returns to the front. This will be
her first visit to London with her first ever boyfriend. But
her brother Jack is home from the war wounded and in a very bad state.
Download extract 1 here
The second extract is set in 1918. Ellen
is a nurse in an army hospital in Abbeville, northern France, just
behind the lines. On this night, something very important
happens to her, important not only for the experience but for what it
comes to mean for her.
Download extract 2 here
You can buy ELLEN’S PEOPLE here
Watch out for the sequel, DIVIDED LOYALTIES, which
takes us to the end of the Second World War.
The Hare Trilogy
Hare’s Choice, Badger’s Fate,
NOW YOU CAN HAVE ALL THREE TOGETHER!
HARE’S CHOICE has been republished by Barn
Owl Books. Click here
At the same time, BADGER’S FATE and HAWK’S
VISION are published by Back to Front as Print-on-Demand books.
Further details here
To celebrate this news, you can read an article I wrote telling
how I first thought of them, what went into their making and some idea
of what they are about.
And you can read the reaction to the book when it
first came out - to critical acclaim - here.
New story to download -
Here's a new short story for download - it's called
Supermarket and is suitable for 7 to 11 year olds. It was
originally published in Dennis Pepper's "Oxord Book of Scary Tales".
I think you will enjoy it, though it might put you off
By the way, in case you missed it, you can
download a football short story here. It's
called The Devil In Him.
To see the complete selection of exclusive free
downloadable stories available click here.
You will need Adobe Reader to view the
story - click on the logo to get the latest version.
Here's where you can find out more about Joslin's
quest to find out about his murdered father. Read notes and extracts
from all six books, plus find out where to buy them.
"This is a
juicily macabre series of page turners." Jan
As well as fiction, I have written many
non-fiction books for children. Find out about them here.ction to the book when
it first came out - to critical acclaim - here.
Many of my earlier books are back in print via the
imprint of the Solidus
Press. I have chosen some of my favourites to be rereleased
by this new publisher. Here are some that you can read now :
Watch Over Her
Old Mrs Cattermole is often visited by the
mysterious children. When two thieves break in they find the children
have a deadly surprise waiting.
The War and Freddy
". . . a wonderful, thought-provoking and above all, humorous book." School
Great news! THE WAR AND FREDDY
is now reissued in the Happy Cat imprint of Catnip
Here's the new cover :
THE WAR AND FREDDY is one of my favourite books.
It was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize in 1991.
Find out more about the book here.
including a close-up of the new cover.
Very Far From Here
"...the period details of this excellent novel are
marvellously convincing, reminiscent of the best of LP Hartley"
The Daily Telegraph
Out now on Print-on-Demand from Back-to-Front
This was the second novel I wrote and it was first
published in 1976. I’ve always had a soft spot for
it. For the first time I wrote about the First World War,
something I’ve returned to in three later books.
Find out more about Very Far From Here here.
Pageants of Despair out now !
Pageants of Despair, my first novel, has been
reissued by Paul
Dry Books. Click here
or on the cover to buy the book from Amazon UK, and click here to see the superb cover
Yule Logs out now !
Click on the cover to order from Amazon UK
Christmas has always been and always will be a
special time of year, a time either of great happiness or great sadness
and sometimes both. Here are eight stories of different
Christmases, all of which are memorable in their different ways.
The stories are arranged in order of age: the
first for young children, the last for adults.
There are two World War 2 stories, one which
refers to it and one which refers to another war. There’s a
football story, a ghost story and two stories with carols in
them - and a lot more besides. There’s a story
about a really weird Christmas guest and another about a tumultuous
family row. All ordinary Christmases to start with,
but which turn into being anything but ordinary.
Each story has a postscript telling what real
memory lies behind it and how it came to be written.