Sunday, 18 March 2018

Esther Bligh - preview

Below is a ‘taster’ (teaser?) of my novella, ‘Esther Bligh’ – part of a piece I wrote recently for Fishguard Arts Society magazine.

I’m launching the book in Seaways Bookshop, Fishguard, on June 17th, (all welcome!).

Although I was born and brought up in Llanelli (see earlier blog), Fishguard is now my nearest town. We are very lucky to have a well-stocked, independent bookshop, with knowledgeable, friendly staff. And it’s next door-but-one to Pepper’s/West Wales Arts Centre, where my writing group meets, so it seemed the right place to launch.

Of course, I have to hope that it will be a sunny, warm June afternoon, to bring people out, whereas dark, cold, and lots of rain are much more appropriate for ‘Esther’…


     “It is dark again. I prefer the darkness now. Perhaps I always have.

‘Night-bird’, he called her. ‘Esther, my little nightingale.’
Outside is wiped away.
Outside, with its treacherous sunlight, its mocking colour, the insinuating rumour of the sea; outside, where the crones gather in the square, whispering behind their claws, and the gargoyle children grimace and gibber.
What do they know? What can they know? Nothing. They have no proof. There is no proof. Is there?”

This is the opening of my novella ‘Esther Bligh’, due to be published by Holland House Books, on the 7th of June, this year.

But what has Esther done, to make her so afraid of the inhabitants of the Welsh village she finds herself in, in a dark house caught between the mountains and the sea?

And what of Grace, the woman who comes to live in the same house, more than twenty years later? When anonymous letters addressed to Esther arrive, why can’t Grace simply ignore them? Why is she so tormented by their words?

As the back cover of the book tells us: ‘A psychological exploration of a troubled mind, or a story of demonic possession in a haunted house – ‘Esther Bligh’ is as ambiguous as the character herself.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Spoken Word, Llanelli, March 10th, 2018.

… waiting for my floor-spot at Ffrwnes Spoken Word, last week. I read my ‘Transformation’ story, which is due to be published later this month, in The Dawntreader magazine.

Ffrwnes is a great venue, with excellent acoustics – no need for a microphone (well, not for me, anyway). The audience was welcoming and engaged, and included some old friends, as Llanelli is where I used to lived (just up the road, in fact, along with the school I went to, my grandmother’s house, my grandfather’s surgery.) A lot of memories – and rather nice to go back in my new guise of ‘writer’.