Download this brilliant review from Interzone (PDF)
Our Child of Two Worlds completes the story begun in my much-praised debut, Our Child of the Stars. It will be published in the UK on Thursday 31 March 2022, in hardback, eBook and audiobook. Please preorder it to avoid disappointment.
I am going to be busy promoting the book and talking about various aspects of it.
No spoilers here
Small-town USA, entering the Seventies. A childless couple Gene and Molly adopt a strange, wounded child of the stars they call Cory. Molly is the main narrative voice – a passionate nurse fighting for her own extraordinary child. Cory is gentle, vibrant, excitable, endlessly curious and loving – and come from yet his otherworldly origins. bring both joy and danger
In Our Child of Two Worlds a figure from the past brings uncomfortable truths and Gene and Molly face the terrifying loss of everything they took for granted. A divided Earth is under threat – humanity needs Cory’s people to return to save the Earth – but if his people take him back, it will break Molly’s heart.
My writing offers hope, optimism, and a taste of humour, but still facing up to the dark and difficult side of life. I think books can create worlds a bit different from ours, and still be truthful, providing the characters feel real. It was fantastic how well the books landed with readers of all genres. I hope I make people think, but it’s always a good story, not a sermon.
It’s not about the pandemic, at least not directly.
Here’s a few thoughts to whet your appetite.
The stakes are higher than before – for the characters and the Earth. Gene, Molly, Cory and baby Fleur face hatred, danger, and separation. I liked my agent’s summary of the first book
…a big Hollywood canvas and an intense family focus, emotionally devastating, funny and charming all at once’
So to reassure you, the big picture stuff is seen through the family’s eyes.
I bring in three memorable new characters I’m very proud of to make life even more complicated.
It’s an end of the world novel in several respects. It was an era with a real threat of nuclear war and a growing understanding of how humanity could destroy the environment.
Add to that, there are malign forces in space which could destroy a squabbling Earth. At that time the superpowers were edging towards more normal relations – the President whose career was built on fighting communism is about to visit China. Is there enough sense of common humanity (or love for nature) to unite?
As ever, it asks what we owe each other in this life. As ever, how people disagree makes the world what it is.
Please spread the word
Our hero cheerily finishes a book – anxieties of the second book – September and new starts – a new work in progress***
So! Yesterday I edited a sentence – not a great sentence of itself, a brisk conveyer of information. Not important like the first sentence or the last. It was the last outstanding sentence to edit of Our Child of Two Worlds. The long awaited sequel to Our Child of the Stars and the conclusion of the duology.
We are now at the proof stage. There’s a lovely jolt coming soon – and I am looking forward to it – because when proofs come it is laid out as a book.
On current plans, publication is six months away. I am proud and excited, and frustrated that it will be some months before you have a change to read it. Of course, I’m a bit nervous too. Any writer is nervous what the readers might think – but those who have read drafts seem suitably bewitched.
I know nothing I could write can interest you as much as a copy of the book to read!
I promised newsletter subscribers
-a free Cory short story which is the wonderful opening of the first draft of Our Child of Two Worlds. It’s perfect but the book now starts in a different place
-a chance to talk about helping/being involved in the launch
-and the opening of the conversation about whether we should write about the pandemic.
Publishing is generally dissuading writers unless they have front line experience. The 1918 flu was as deadly as the war and was largely ignored by literature. For me, I think all human life was there, but its not the idea most obsessing me at present.
*** The work in progress is Victorian and it is affecting me
Do subscribe to my newsletter, ask questions via the contact form, and if you want to help with the launch get in touch.
I’ve just sent out an email newsletter with an update on the book progress, news about the launch date, and new short story set during the time of Our Child of the Stars but in the USSR.
This is the first of a number of short stories I’ll be sharing in the run up to the publication of Our Child of Two Worlds. You might like to subscribe, you can never guarantee seeing any post on social media! And I don’t write unless there is something new to say.
|September is probably my favourite month, for weather, foliage, and oddly a sense of a new start. |
The crucial news – I believe the draft of OUR CHILD OF TWO WORLDS has really come together. It will only be one more sweep through – strength, consistency, etc – and it goes to Jo the Mighty (my editor). Hopefully we will be moving to proper edits, a series of successively quicker to and fros…
For punctual updates, and in due course an original Cory short story… subscribe to my newsletter.