Saturday, 11 August 2012

We pass like night

I delivered my latest book yesterday, marking the end of a slightly hectic few weeks of writing.  This is another books for Bloomsbury and will be published in March 2014.  Yes - I know - it does seem a long way away.

This book, like Mister Creecher, is another homage to a piece of fiction that had a huge effect on me when I first encountered it.  The work in question is a poem this time: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  The illustration here shows the dead crew rising up to sail the ship.

I was read the poem first when I was about eight or nine I would guess.  I returned to it again and again, discovering later that it was a poem that had been illustrated many times since its first publication, Gustave Doré's being arguably the most famous.

The poem is the story of a man who is forced by a curse to retell the story of a doomed voyage, in which a ship is blown off course and ends up in the Antarctic ice.  The spirits of the crew are raised by the visits of an albatross and it is the wanton killing of that bird by the storyteller that sends the ship and crew through a bizarre series of torments.

In the course of the poem, the mariner says that he stood beside his 'brother's son' and I have shifted the story from the mariner, to this nephew and imagined the boys life and the boy's part in the story and the subsequent curse.

More about this book nearer the time.


  1. I'm so excited you have a publishing date--even if it is 2 years away. I adored Mister Creecher and can't wait to see how you weave in the Ancient Mariner tale. Did I ever tell you I did a paper at uni comparing Frankenstein to the Ancient Mariner? Good luck with this one and the other one (only have to wait a year for that one!)
    Heather (wife of Tom at HBS)

  2. No you didn't. How weird. Hope you and Tom are well. Thanks for all the positive feedback. I hope I live up to your expectations!