I have the following written works available for publication:
LUPA – a novel
Two stories run in parallel in this novel, weaving in and out of each other. The first concerns a young runaway in ancient Rome turning her back on her family and becoming a gladiator. Gaining fame as “The She-wolf”, she is immersed in the world of the barracks and the arena. What is her relationship with her owner, the Lanista? Or with her occasional visitor Patricius? Or with the silent giant, Moloch? Will she die in the ring, or by the curse of an ancient cult, or be murdered on the orders of the envious and powerful?
The second story is set in the late 20c. Jelena, a Bosnian Serb refugee from Srebrenica, a circus horsewoman injured in the ring, is flat-sitting for friends in Rome, when she becomes involved with a mysterious man heading an archaeological dig. The dig has unearthed what appears to be the grave of a female gladiator, and this fascinates Jelena. Fighting bipolar disorder, she begins to have vivid dreams of ancient Rome.
Are the two stories linked? Are Jelena’s dreams a recollection of a former life as “The She-wolf”? What is the significance of a medallion found at the dig? Or are none of these things linked in any way at all? There are twists and turns of the plot at every stage of each stories, and in the end the novel is about the way that people see only what they want to see.
A typical reaction from advance readership of this novel was: “I don’t do stories about ancient Rome, but I simply couldn’t help reading this right to the end. Congratulations!”
THE EVERYWHEN ANGELS – a novel
What do a bunch of teenagers do when they find they have unusual powers, and can enter a strange, parallel school to their own Essex comprehensive, leaving doppelgangers in their places in class? Well, for a start they go on being teenagers, with every teenage problem – dating, bullying, parental tension – while they try to figure out whether they are taking part in the last battle between good and evil, or are the next stage in human evolution.
The Everywhen Angels is the same story seen through three different pairs of eyes. Angela is a young poet, who escapes into the parallel school from her tormentors. Her adventures are inexplicable to her – why does she save the lives of three people while others die, and why does she have to run for her life when she is identified as a traitor, a creature of evil?
Charlie has dreams of being the leader. He tells the same story as he sees it, reliving it as a near-death experience. In his case, he tells the story backwards, contradicting Angela’s version, and as he goes back further we learn more about the “Angels” and about him.
Ashe, the youngest and least regarded of the Angels, has Aspergers Syndrome; and yet he seems to be the key to everything, the one who will finally shed light on what is happening, as he journeys through time and through alternative realities to unlock secrets for the others.
The novel came about after a challenge was made to me to write something set in a school that was “better than Harry Potter”. The result was the first part of the book – “The Thirteenth Angel” – and it was originally written for a friend’s daughter. She devoured it avidly, as her mother gave it to her chapter by chapter as a reward for doing her homework. I expanded the story into a novel, and broadened the target readership, feeling that adults could easily read it, and that I could respect the intelligence of younger readers by stretching them.
Advance readers have said, in effect, that the novel is much less like “Harry Potter” than it is like “Lord of the Flies”. The consensus was – mission accomplished!
THE LAST-BUT-ONE SAMURAI – a short novella
A girl in 18c Japan run away, with dreams of becoming a Samurai warrior. She stumbles into a well-known event in Japanese history, and sees in it something totally different from the legend that has come down to us.
This is a comic adventure full of aslant feminism, gender-bending, irony, and action.
A comment from the advance readership: “The best thing you have ever written!”
MORE WILL BECOME AVAILABLE, and will be posted here.