I was born in the United Kingdom; my parents were wardens for the Youth Hostels Association on a smallholding in Surrey. My formative years were spent in the City of Bath in Somerset, where I spent many evenings at the roller-skating rink watching pop-groups such as ‘the Small Faces’, ‘the Yardbirds’, ‘the Trogs’ and many more. Those were the sixties, the days of the Mods and Rockers, where the Rockers did nasty things with motorcycle chains to the scooter-riding Mods.
My first book “Merlin Parnassus” recounts the life of Merlin, who was blessed by Gaia; he was given long life and promised he would master Real Magic. He was the wizard at King Arthur’s court. My trilogy “Samantha’s Journey” postulates that magic spells, were defined like computer programs.
Your host tells you he is a magician who uses ‘real magic’ in his stage illusions. Would you volunteer to be his assistant?
When did you first start writing?
My first attempt at writing a short story began for all the wrong reasons. I was away in Belgium on a contract. I was alone in a small bedsit. I was writing to preserve my sanity . A writer needs the desire to write about a subject they believe in. I was writing about whatever came into my mind. It was emotional rubbish but it achieved its objective; sanity was preserved.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Somerset in a small village called Hinton Charterhouse. I was educated at the village primary school and my first writing challenge was to write an essay about the village cricket team. I had to supply a drawing with my work. I remember the argument I had with my teacher when I tried to use a ruler to draw the creases in the cricketer's trousers. She seemed to miss the point I was trying to make. I went on to my senior education at Frome Grammar School. In my Ordinary-Level exams year the form was challenged to write an essay about a major event in our lives; it was supposed to be anonymous. My essay was read out last and declared the winner. I never did believe that the teacher did not recognise the handwriting.
In January 2010, Samantha met Merlin in a small hotel in Milton, UK. Merlin used his stage shows at the Star nightclub to draw Samantha into his world of real magic. Blessed by Merlin’s ring of Gaia, Samantha discovered her hidden powers, healing powers. Could she heal Angel’s cancer? Can she avoid the authorities and those who would steal her powers? She had already been warned about Zed.
ZED was not blessed with long life like Merlin Parnassus, but, by using the power of a ring of Gaia, he had avoided his ‘Day of Reckoning’. If the ring was held by ZED and a pregnant woman when she was at 26 weeks term, ZED’s spirit could move into the new foetus. His memories would be stored in the ring of Gaia when his body died. The pregnant woman was one of ZED’s granddaughters.
In Cuba, ZED was recovering from his close encounter with Merlin. His endeavour to find the ‘subject tested positive’ was successful. He now knew it was Samantha. He had one answer and many more questions.
Back in Milton, Arturus fixed the patients and Samantha was left to come up with stories to explain away the recoveries. Can she remain secret, sane and safe?
Gaia gave Merlin Parnassus long life and real magic. Merlin kept his lovers young, but lives were finite. He was the wizard at King Arthur’s Court. He used conjuring tricks to entertain the children and illusions to baffle the adults; he kept real magic hidden for healing. One slip would be death. This novel and ‘Zed’ are prequels to the series ‘Samantha’s Journey’.