Most of the posts on this blog are articles previously published in national periodicals. Folks have been asking for these to be collected in one spot...and this is that spot. And, unless otherwise noted, illustrations are by David Gillett as well.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In Village1349, Charlie Cooper finds himself fighting with the memories of one night of senseless violence and nine long years of mystery revolving around the disappearance of his war-veteran grandfather. A family trip to a run down manor house in northern England only adds to his troubles as the mysteries pile in on him: bizarre links to a classified World War 2 operation, ominous threats from a shadowy corporation, rumors of a secret community and run-ins with costumed characters who seem to be from another age - scared, mystified and pre-occupied with the bubonic plague. As the storm clouds of fundamentalism , pandemic disease and biological warfare gather, a strange mix of characters emerge: medieval re-enactors, disillusioned ex-hippies, savvy executives…and well-armed warriors caught in what seems like a time warp, the year 1349, when the Black death ravaged Europe.
Charlie meets Alfred, a sickly fugitive his own age, dressed in Medieval clothes…and adept at swordplay. They soon find they have much in common but how different their respective worlds are: one framed by technology, the other by ancient arts; one world governed by science, the other a universe where God and faith are all.
In the tradition of books such as Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Susan Price’s The Sterkarm Handshake and The Pit by Ann Pillings, this story plays with the tensions between past and present and the fine line between reality and fantasy, but always keeps one foot solidly in the here and now, tenuous though that footing is.
I’m an architect with a penchant for Medieval architecture and have had two mystery novels for young teens published: Mystery Rider at Thunder Ridge and The Great Reptile Race (both Chariot Books). I’ve also written for periodicals and anthologies on issues of creativity, architecture and social history. I live in Ontario and have roots in northern England, a place I often visit and where Village1349 is set. In fact, I recently returned from walking the ancient Offa’s Dyke Trail in Wales, (105 miles, 1005 blisters) with my wife, a medieval scholar at the University of Toronto’s Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. (Yes, it’s a mouthful…)

No comments:

Post a Comment