Thursday, 8 August 2013

The body of my brother's son



Next month sees the publication of The Dead Men Stood Together.  Advance copies have already gone out to reviewers and some have contacted me via Twitter.  I will be doing very well if I get a better review than the one I have just received from The Bookbag.

Although, I feel I should say that I didn't invent the character of the mariner's nephew.  There is the line in the poem:

The body of my brother's son 
Stood by me knee to knee

I tell the story from that character's viewpoint.  This allowed me to step back from the tale the mariner tells and question it.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner has clearly been a special work for many people, and I hope that it will continue to intrigue and obsess younger readers.  Although poetry may seem artificial at first glance, it never feels that way to me.  At its best, it seems to reach into your subconscious and spark images and emotions as real as a memory.  It seems to operate more on the level of a dream - a shared dream.

I have tried to keep that hypnotic, dreamlike quality that is so much part of the Ancient Mariner, and as with Mister Creecher and Frankenstein, I hope that my book may take readers back to the source that inspired me.

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