Where do we go to when we die? Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.
As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she sets out to prove that things are not as they seem.
Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince? The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal? Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.
A word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild and with a prize to be drawn on the 10th December, which is Human Rights Day. Here’s the link with all the details https://kevin-albin.com/book-kevin-albin/puzzle-time-for-readers-of-stonechild/
- When and where do you prefer to write?
I’m at my best very early in the morning, say at four o’clock, don’t know why, just at my most creative. I do wake sometimes with an idea, and just have to get up and write it down. I have a large, oak desk in my sitting room, and enjoy working there. The room also has large glass doors to the outside, so I can sit with these open, cup of coffee and listening to the birds singing as they wake up.
- Do you have a certain ritual?
No, nothing specific. Writers talk about writer’s block but if the words aren’t coming then I leave it alone and go and do something else. It takes the stress out of trying to force it. If I have an article to write, assuming it’s not urgent, I leave it to soak for a few days until I know how I am going to tackle it. I’m a great believer in letting your subconscious do its job.
- Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Like most, coffee. I bought a coffee machine that makes all the right noises and that seems to add to the experience of making it. I sometimes miss meals when in full swing, and try not to snack, which could easily get out of hand.
- What is your favourite book?
I read a lot factual books, which might seem odd as a fiction writer. I enjoy history, and learning about how things work. If I was pushed to name one book, it would be Where Hornbills Fly, A Journey with the Headhunters of Borneo by Erik Jensen. As an expedition guide, I have spent a lot of time working in Borneo and it is my favourite destination. This book transports me back there every time.
- Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
My style of writing, using fiction to share a conservation message, or eco-fiction, interests me a lot and it is what humans have done since the beginning. I am currently researching a sequel to Stonechild, but I have another idea for a character based on my own experiences of being a police officer and a guide. Someone who gets involved in the wildlife trade, which really needs addressing.
- Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Not completely, but I do take aspects from different people and combine them. I am observant, probably from being a police officer, and I love to people watch, often making notes. The character in Stonechild called Gee-Gee is from a man I saw on the underground train in London. He had unusual features but also with an air of deceit about him. I would have liked to have taken a picture, but that wouldn’t have been right, but made notes to remember what it was about him that was so interesting.
- Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I should do, but don’t always remember. I can usually find something to scribble on or I dictate something into my phone.
- Which genre do you not like at all?
I’ll pretty much read anything. I feel there’s a sort of agreement between writer and reader. The writer agrees to keep the interest there in the story, and the reader promises to read to the end. If that is broken because the story is inconsistent or not feasible then I will lose interest. That’s slightly tongue in cheek having written a book on living statues, but I quickly give an explanation as to how that might come about, and as with Harry Potter, as an example, if drawn into the book, the impossible becomes acceptable.
- If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Difficult to say as I don’t know how I would be working on such a project. Some Other Rainbow, by John McCarthy and Jill Morrell was written well. John in captivity after being kidnapped in Beirut and Jill in the UK trying to get him freed. I had the pleasure of meeting John some years later when I appeared on the BBC radio after winning an award for my work as a guide.
- If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
My work as a guide has taken my to many countries and I enjoy travelling for pleasure as well. Stonechild ends with the Prime Minister of the UK being called in the night by the President of America to say the Statue of Liberty is missing. So, the sequel will be based in New York, and I shall have to fly over to do the research. I am currently reading what I can about American history.
Thank you, Kevin Albin and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions.
I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.
In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work..
It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there.
My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all species.
I live in France.