Having spent a few of my early years literally ‘at sea’ I gained a few qualifications and began teaching English and History. With the opportunity of having group of potential actors on my hands I began writing short plays. A very battered old History book prompted me into considering periods like the Ice Age, and this in turn led to my writing The Time Chase in 1983 to show the effect of climate change through the adventures of Robin Aide and the great wizard Ubiquitous. It was in this story that Lucky Jim the tiny green genie came to life.
I then got into lyric writing and I adapted The Ring in the Rough Stuff by Antonia Barber as a play and then a musical, which ended up reaching the finals of the Barclays Youth Music Theatre Awards in 1987/8 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
The interest in music led onto the formation of the Blue Flash Music Trust and the discovery of the wonderful acoustics of the Horsham Town Hall. Access to the hall became increasingly difficult and to keep the idea of this unique and iconic building alive I wrote Dan Roberts’ Dream in 2005. Dan Roberts was the custodian of the Town Hall for the then Duke of Norfolk in the 18th century, and legend has it that he is haunting the Town Hall until it becomes famous once again. It was the delving into the life and times of Dan Roberts that sparked off The Flying Castle Stories.
As in The Sundial, Jack and his mum find themselves caught up in the world of the Flying Castle Stories when Jack notices that the unicorn on the front of the ‘castle’ has new legs! In the best dream of his life Jack finds out exactly what did happen to the unicorn, and how it was rescued from the dragon’s lair.
The flying castle once again takes off crewed by a bear, a lion, a little dog, a tiny genie and Rosalinda the Ladye Fayre. Here they deal with a giant squid, violent rushing winds, and an invasion of chickens!
This second book continues to celebrate the life and times of a small English town where we meet up with the ghostly, but kindly Dan Roberts, a baby blackbird being cared for by Jack’s mum, and the trainee wizard, Robin Aide, one of the main characters from The Time Chase.
The quirky and iconic Town Hall in Horsham, Sussex was the inspiration for The Flying Castle Stories. Rebuilt to look like a castle in 1812, it has stood on the site in many different forms for over 600 years.
Enter a world inhabited by the likes of Greatlion, Rosalinda and Barnie the Bear.