Guest post on From Sand to Glass: Rebellion, Religious Oppression and Abuse of Power

This week, fellow author Martin Willoughby has very kindly allowed me to write a guest post promoting my work on his blog. You can check out the article here.

What follows is a shorter, modified version of the post on Martin Willoughby’s blog, giving an overview of recurrent themes in my writing:

Regular readers of this blog know I write for both grown-ups and children in a variety of genres, but what recurrent themes are present in my writing?

Abuse of power and religious oppression are certainly two mainstays. My most successful novel to date, Children of the Folded Valley, is about a man looking back on his childhood growing in a mysterious cult, seemingly in a parallel dimension bordering our own.

Folded Valley cover

These themes are echoed in my most recent novel, Love vs Honour, which on the surface may appear to be a teenage romance, but it takes a number of dark and unexpected turns that I think are just as likely to make the novel appeal to adults. It concerns relationship between teenagers of different fundamentalist faith backgrounds, and their parent appeasing subterfuge as each pretends to convert to the others religion.

LvsHonour 1600 x 2400

George goes to Mars (and its sequel George goes to Titan, along with the upcoming final part of the trilogy, George goes to Neptune) also to a lesser extent deals with oppressive religious systems, and those who set themselves up as gods. The simple premise of the first novel – poverty stricken boy inherits all rights to sell land on the planet Mars – is merely the start of several thrilling adventures that will appeal to all ages.

GGTM_600px GGTT cover

Abuse of power, and themes of distrust in political powers of all persuasions crop up in another adventure story I wrote entitled Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge. The first chapter features a haunted house, monster and mad scientist, and then novel builds from there.

DrGibbles_1600x2400_front cover

In a different vein, Uncle Flynn, a treasure hunt adventure, features themes of overcoming fear and the dangers of mollycoddling.


Returning to novels for adults, The Birds Began to Sing is a gripping thriller about a mysterious writing competition that takes many sinister, possibly supernatural turns. Yet again abuse of power is a background theme, although primarily it concerns the power of the written word.

The Birds Began to Sing_1600x2400_Front Cover

It is worth mentioning a theme that crops up in virtually all my books: rebellion/uprising against corrupt and/or oppressive systems and/or people; whether religious, political or even just school bullies. Sometimes these confrontations take place on a small, personal level (the afore-mentioned bullies in stories like Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge, or perhaps the confrontations of Love vs Honour), or on a larger, more obvious scale (George goes to Mars, Children of the Folded Valley, etc).

Of course, this makes my novels sound terribly heavy and tough, but they aren’t. There is humour too, often quite dark humour, throughout all these stories.

Finally, I should add that many of my novels are set in and round where I live in the South West of England. Since moving here in 2006, I have derived a great deal of inspiration from my surroundings, and certain locations (particularly places on Dartmoor such as Wistman’s Wood) crop up again and again in my work.

All my novels are available on Amazon at a mere 99 pence per download. Print copies are also available from Lulu or, in the case of Love vs Honour, Amazon Create Space.

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