Welcome to Day 26 of the amazing Blogival event lasting throughout the month of June. Today I have for you a Guest Post from author Nick Brown about his book Skendleby. Let’s get on with it!
The inspiration for the Ancient Gramarye series
I belong to that surprisingly large category of people to whom things have happened for which there seems to be no logical causation and yet despite the reality of the event can’t credit any of the paranormal conclusions. So, like many of us, I experience without understanding or belief.
Skendleby was conceived out of a series of such events: first a music disc that re- formatted itself overnight into a woman’s sustained and unnerving spectral chant and second a field lit by strange light I saw from the road when my car engine cut out late at night. I woke next morning with the word Skendleby in my head and the idea for a book.
I live in a house regarded by many who have stayed in it as haunted, some refusing to return, and worked as an archaeologist. The prospect of combining the ancient landscape and it’s haunting into a tale of terror inspired by atmosphere rather than graphic violence appealed.
I wanted to write the kind of series I would enjoy reading myself but I found hard to find, where the suspense gradually increases as the plot evolves and the characters are tested. A thinking supernatural thriller intertwining the present and the past.
The book begins with archaeologists excavating a prehistoric tomb which should have been left alone in the fictional Skendleby. Some years later a reader wrote to tell me she lives in the real Skendleby in Lincolnshire and there is just such a Neolithic tomb existing there; so some things are stranger than fiction. Other readers have made contact to say that since reading the books they see crows everywhere, so be warned.
In the rolling Cheshire countryside surrounding Alderley, scarred by the mansions of celebs and footballers, something buried for millenia is stirring. But something equally ancient keeps watch. Its dark energy disturbs psychic Claire Vanarvi, compelling her to visit an archaeological dig taking place on the purportedly cursed estate of Skendleby Hall, now set to become a sprawling commercial development.
Blinded by greed, the Hall’s new owner and his political cronies are blissfully unaware of the terrible evil that lies beneath the surface and only Claire, who no one will believe, can see it coming.
Now only the tenacious psychic and her accomplice – the local self-loathing, agnostic vicar – stand in the way of a force which could put an end to Skendleby and disturb the fabric of existence.
Skendleby is a tale of Christmas haunting, greed, faith, love and horror mixed with a pinch of quantum strangeness.
Extract from ‘Skendleby’
“Outside, cold in the growing darkness of the field, Davenport watched as the black dense mass of birds rose up from the trees in one huge black flock, deliberately circled Skendleby Hall then swept across the tree tops towards him. No cawing, they remained silent, save for the noise of their heavy black wings. They flashed over his head towards the Edge. He turned to watch them and saw the priest was still chanting with his arms outstretched. He seemed changed and was performing a strange shuffling, then stepping, dance. Silhouetted against the Edge in the dying light, cassock and cloak billowing, the image seemed familiar from somewhere. Then it hit him. “Oh dear God, he’s not the shaman, he’s the sacrifice.”
About the Author:
Nick Brown has an extensive background teaching and writing in the fields of archaeology and ancient history; he taught and studied at both Manchester and Leeds Universities; worked with the Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit on the reconstruction of a Romano-British Villa; and has contributed many articles to academic journals and magazines on the topic of archaeology. Brown also opened and was the Principal of Oldham Sixth Form College and was awarded an OBE for his role in making it one of the most successful in the country. This is Brown’s second novel and is the first in a series of ghost stories set in the fictional northern town of Skendleby. Skendleby by Nick Brown (published by New Generation, RRP £8.99 paperback, £4.99 eBook) is available online at retailers including Amazon.co.uk and can be ordered from all good book stores. More information can be found at the author’s website: www.nickbrownbooks.com.