October is always a rather wonderful month; a month of bonfires and falling leaves and shops crammed full of Halloween novelties...but this October is already extra-special.
It started with Fantasycon 2017 in Peterborough, with a series of endless and fascinating chats with fellow horror folk, and it will end with the Ireland Horror Expo, which I'll be working on with horror -royalty like Ramsey Campbell, Kim Newman and David Skal. But there's ALSO the launch of my first novel, The Girl In The Fort.
It's a coming of age story about a girl whose life becomes entangled with Irish folklore, and who realises that she possesses a gift of the aisling - to see visions - that runs in her family. It's the book I always wanted to read growing up; a story of Irish lore, of familiar settings and highlighting the eerie nature of the Irish countryside.
‘Your actions affect others; you are very powerful.’ For a second her eyes seem to glaze over, her voice deepens. ‘You hold a great fate in your hands, and no-one can tell what way it will turn. It is all within you, but there are dark shadows around you…’
After her father takes a job abroad, eleven year old Vivian is sent from Dublin to stay with her grandparents in their ramshackle family home in the countryside. At first she fiercely resents abandoning city life and her friends – but reluctantly finds herself becoming attracted to the strange fairy fort in a nearby field, and the odd secrets it holds. But spending too much time in the fort can be a dangerous thing, as Vivian and her new friends Katie and Tommy find out. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Vivian sees her grandmother’s folk tales come to life, experiences the complicated joys of witnessing the past, and forges new relationships with her family.