Meet the Author: June 2015

A photo from the 1990s, taken by one of my students, of me team teaching with my colleague Jerry Cooper

A photo from the 1990s, taken by one of my students, of me team teaching with my colleague Jerry Cooper

June’s here and Midsummer’s Day—Wednesday 24th—is just around the corner. To celebrate, all day long I’ll be giving away free downloads of my novel, Gooseberry from Smashwords.com. For those of you who have yet to meet my fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective (or rather would-be detective, for currently he’s a mere errand boy in a highly successful solicitor’s office), he is a reformed master pickpocket with a ragtag bunch of friends and a flexible sense of morality. He and his boss, Mr Bruff, first appeared in the pages of Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone, as did Franklin Blake, his wife Rachel, their servants Gabriel Betteredge and his daughter, the Indian traveller Mr Murthwaite, and the celebrated detective Sergeant Cuff, who also put in appearances. Gooseberry has been described as “an absolute treat for fans of Collins’ novel”, “a fast-moving, rollicking and compelling read”, and a “total delightful mystery which moves along at a great pace”. And on Midsummer’s Day it’s free! When it comes time to pay, just use coupon code: XXXXX.

Gooseberry

As you may have noticed, Malane and I have been giving the website a bit of a spruce up. Young Gooseberry now has his very own section, and his forthcoming novel Octopus has a page to itself. Gooseberry readers will be aware that I included a few recipes at the back of that book, and the same will be true for Octopus. You’ll find one of those recipes on this site already—it’s a wholemeal loaf that tastes absolutely superb. The timing is a tiny bit fussy, but it couldn’t be easier. There’s no kneading involved. That’s right! Basically mix and cook! How fantastic is that! Do give it a try; I guarantee you’ll LOVE it.

At the moment the loaf doesn’t have a name; I’m just calling it “THAT loaf”. If you’d like to put forward a suggestion, all you have to do is click on the comment button for the “Name THAT Loaf” post on my Facebook page. Perhaps it might be something that somehow describes the bread? Something Victorian or detective-related? It could even be the name of a favourite pet, come to that! Think outside the box, for I’ll be choosing the one that most tickles my fancy to use in the book! Why not post a photo of your loaf along with your suggestion?

My Lizzie Blaylock titles have recently been attracting a number of four and five star ratings on Goodreads and Amazon. Two of those five stars come from readers in Pakistan, another two from a reader in Iceland. Thank you, kind readers! When I first started writing The Bridge of Dead Things, I had no idea that my novels would have such international appeal or reach. I am so very glad you enjoyed it.

This month’s article from Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts – An Illustrated Guide to 19th Century Spiritualism is about a man already featured on this site: Mr William Thomas Stead, whose rather dubious journalism led to our age of consent being what it is today. Stead was a keen spiritualist, who, some suggest, may have foreseen his own death.

Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts

Why the Victorians Saw Ghosts normally retails for US$2.99 in most online stores, but you can still download it for free from Smashwords.com. When it comes time to pay, just use coupon code: TD22X. A word of warning: opt for the ePub version if that happens to be a format you can use; for technical reasons beyond my control it is vastly superior to the MOBI on offer.

Remember, you can always message me on the Contact Me form or you can send me an email. Both Malane, who designs this website for me, and I really look forward to hearing from you, and I will always try to respond.

Happy reading!
Michael Find me on Facebook.