Reviewed yesterday in Guardian Books. “Stephen Palmer likes to ring the changes…” Yes. He does.
As I’ve said in various interviews, going for a walk at the end of a day, or after an intense few hours writing a chapter, is for me a vital part of life. (Many HSPs use this technique to recharge their batteries after a day at work or after socialising.) When I wrote Tommy Catkins during my winter holiday 2016-17 I went for the same walk at the end of each day, which I named my Tommy Catkins walk. I live in the North Shropshire plains, where there are many marshy or waterlogged regions – to the north of where I live is the nationally significant Whixall Mosses, a site renowned for rare or otherwise unusual bog plants.
The town at the edge of which I live is situated in the middle of a drained marsh, and so there are many waterlogged areas around it, even now, in the middle of a drought. So for today’s post I’ve taken a few photographs of places that inspired the geography, and the plant and animal life of the island upon which Tommy finds himself…
First review just in; captures the novel perfectly.
‘This isn’t a comfortable read. It’s a haunting and deeply uneasy book that won’t offer you tidy solutions. If you’re looking for uncomplicated escapism, this isn’t it, but it is a book that can speak in some unsettling ways to that urge for escapism.’
I will be a guest author at the Asylum steampunk festival in Lincoln, 24th – 27th August. I’ll be appearing on the Saturday & Sunday, and featuring:
1. Q&A – automata & associated considerations, including the nature of consciousness, which is a field of specialism for me (approx 1 hour).
2. Q&A – relationships between fantasy and history (approx 1 hour).
3. Workshop – how to write a novel, with particular reference to steampunk. This will be a freeform workshop allowing participants to bring what they wish to the session (approx 1 hour).
This is the cover design for Tommy Catkins, due out from Infinity Plus on 26th July.