EVA: A GROWN-UP FAIRY TALE
“October Country . . . that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain. . . .” ― Ray Bradbury, The October Country
How lovely and evocative is that? I wish I’d written it myself. One of my favourite passages from a book, and from one of my mother’s favourite books – Ray Bradbury’s October Country from 1955, a collection of nineteen macabre short stories. October is also my mother’s favourite month, and not just because it’s her second born’s birthday month (yes, yours truly! Been and gone, so don’t worry…), but because of the time of year, the changing of the season, the trees ablaze with colour. I love it, too. Those nostalgic ‘back to school’ feelings, the falling leaves, the smell of smoke from open fires, in your home, or in a pub. The balminess of an Indian summer. A walk in the countryside – the Peak District, as I was at the weekend. On a fine day, at this time of year, what could be better?
October Country – the book – definitely influenced me as a writer, especially the book I am currently working on, Ten Wicked Tales – my own compendium of twisted short stories. Very much of the ilk of Tales of the Unexpected, a television series I grew up on, penned and created by another master of the macabre, wonderful and unusual, and one of my favourite authors, Roald Dahl.
Anyway… talking of unusual tales… I have some exciting news!! I am delighted to say that any day now will see the release of Eva: A Grown-up Fairy Tale, my first novella, and first publication not connected to The Caterpillar Girl series – and boy, have I been dying to unleash this one on the world!
It’s a quirky one to say the least, and very different from my other two books. And I just LOVE the cover – created, as with all my book covers, by Gail Bradley, a super-talented graphic designer from Leicester.
Here is the blurb as a little teaser…
‘Mr. Lewis is an every day Joe and family man. An estate agent, who works from home on Mondays. Times are hard. He is under pressure. Financial pressure.
His life is turned upside down when one of his daughter’s toys, a doll, comes alive and starts talking to him. But it only happens when he is alone…
At first he shuns the doll, refuses to believe it is happening, and questions his sanity. “I’m OK, aren’t I?”
But Eva won’t go away. Beautiful, flirtatious, mischievous, sexy…’
Intrigued yet? I hope so.
To finish off, I want to return to that quote at the start of this post, and, more specifically, to one line: ‘That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun.’
Whilst writing this, and in the process revisiting that wonderful passage, I think, subconsciously, Mr. Bradbury’s words influenced me more than I had realised, for there is a paragraph in Eva that reads: ‘Walking down his street as he returns home gives him a strange feeling. All the houses are relatively the same: the same front lawns, the same front porches, the same upstairs windows. If only anyone knew what’s upstairs in his house right now. What secrets lie behind these other facades of suburban normality – in garages and spare rooms, attics, lofts and pantries? Or is it just him?’
So… what’s hiding in your house?
Keep a lookout for Eva, and keep reading.
Love Adam. x