I’m fortunate enough to live in a rose and wisteria-strewn 12th century cottage in the English countryside with my wonderful wife Julie, daughter, son, and miniature sausage dog, Sasha.
Does this have any bearing on me being a New Adult author?
Well, Sasha appears on the cover of The Barking Detective Agency, while the house serves as Elly’s home in A Horse for A Kingdom, a tale revolving around one of the Princes in the Tower when he was held in nearby Stony Stratford.
Perhaps, too, the house is responsible for opening up my mind; because here’s a true ghost story, an event that happened when we first moved into the house.
My daughter was only three at the time, and my son was yet to be born. We’d only just moved into the house, having moved up from London that very day.
My daughter was both entranced by the new house but also upset that we had left behind all that was familiar to her; so, very quickly, Julie and I laid out rugs and comfortable chairs around the huge fireplace so that it looked and felt more like our London home, then left her quietly reading a book while we went to the kitchen to prepare something to eat.
Around fifteen minutes later, my daughter came into the kitchen, saying that she felt much better now ‘after talking to the boy’.
‘Boy?’ we asked. ‘What boy?’
‘The little boy; he’s been talking to me on the sofa while you were in here.’
We rushed into the room, looking around.
There wasn’t any boy there of course.
‘There isn’t any little boy here,’ we said.
‘Of course,’ my daughter replied. ‘He told me he wasn’t alive anymore. He lived here a long time ago.’
A child’s wild imagination? Well, that’s what we thought at the time; but there were other strange things, other strange presences (but not really frightening ones) that happened over the years that made me think otherwise.