Whilst the two books are not yet linked on Amazon, The Honey Killer is now also available in paperback.
It portrays the growth of an ‘moral’ assassin from a young lad in 1939 to a grown man in flashbacks from his life in 1984 – when his life and career appears to be coming to an end. The scorn of his father, throughout his younger years, he seems to have no options but to kill to protect himself, his brother or his ailing mother as, one by one, his guardian ‘Angels’ ar etaken from him. Amongst his many tools of the trade is honey – known to the Greeks – and a copy of a herbal he is given to read as a boy.
As he chases, then is chased, around Europe the assassin finally returns to the place in which much of the book is set: rural England, the central south, particularly the beautiful garden he built for his mother (and himself) in Collingbourne Regis and the care home he bought for his mother in Snoddington Beeches. When all seems lost, he comes to a reconciliation with the person who hates him the most, and rediscovers an Angel who has been there all the time…
The book arose from a Fiction module I took on my MA, though is heavily altered from what was submitted/ First readers and proof readers loved it, stating they had to ‘go back and start all over again to actually proof it as I got caught up in the story’. Wonderful feedback!
Hope you enjoy.
I’m delighted that ‘The Honey Killer’ is finally available on Kindle:
This was a book started as an MA project, a deliberate exploration into a different genre for me (hence the pseudonym) but one which I found quite useful. It traces the history of an assassin – an ethical assassin, but a killer, nonetheless – from his appalling childhood involving isolation, bullying and manipulation through to being a loner who knows how to do one thing only: kill in strange and unusual ways.
It is also a book about a platonic love, about worship of individuals who show kindness, and about reconciliation. The settings – London, Paris, Amsterdam adn the fictional village of Snoddington Beeches – are all based on my own experiences working here and in Europe. The history, from Operation Pied Piper (1939) onwards is as accurate as a work of creative fiction can be.
What’s interesting from a process perspective are the changes that were made after it was assessed for one of the MA modules. I’ve blogged about the realisation before and that the book was missing a character, but having added much more to the character (I’ll leave you to guess which one it was) the book took on a much more rounded form. It enabled an ending that reflected and completed much of the interaction throughout the historical components of the book (even the narrator’s ‘present’ is 1984).
Whatever teh experience and learning, for me, it’s wondeful to see something from the MA in print. 🙂
I’ve just added another page to the Developmental Shorts menu, this time Beyond Reasonable Doubt, the winner of the 2014 Orwell Society Dystopian Short Story competition. The prize is a good one for students and is judged by some key figures in the academic world. The guide for the competition went somewhere along the lines of ‘write something that Orwell would have approved of’.
There are deliberate nods to 1984 throughout, including one I thought was really obvious but which no-one has spotted or yet commented upon.
I’ve just finished a novel and requested a proof copy. It’s had multiple iterations of proof-readers, first-readers, comments and such. The proof will go to a completely new reader or two who, no doubt, will have their own views, too. A product of my imagination will be exposed, once more, to a critical gaze and the red/pink squiggles will appear upon it.
My thoughts and writing exposed. Oh dear. A common fear.
There is a twist, however: the exposure goes both ways. As much as your thoughts are exposed by putting them into words, the critiquers thoughts are also exposed by their reaction to the words.
The MA is coming to an end. I’ve had the last (excellent) tutorial and I am working on the three essays and the final submission. It’s a lot of work, of course, but I can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Ironically, finishing the MA in Writing means I can focus on writing much more. 🙂
Alone Together – BCU School of English Anthology 2015
This years anthology has been released from BCU English School, again with contributions from students (PhD to BA) and a couple of lecturers. Once again, content is incredibly varied . Like last year, I don’t think it will be available other than through BCU School of English, though copies could be ordered direct from the university. My contribution was the previously mentioned ‘Etayne Danced for Gryngolet’, an alliterations inspired by a study of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ during my MA.
I missed the presentation evening as a grandson was mid-way through being delivered and I was sharing the moment with my daughter and her partner. However, I was delighted to receive this year’s award for Fiction. Again, the book has been entered into a few competitions so I won’t mention the theme and title.
Another school prizegiving! I’m not quite sure what I will spend the Watertsones vouchers on this time, though. However, I am intensely enjoying the thought of browsing and having to spend vouchers in a bookshop: joy, oh joy!