Wainscot on the Heloise is now available on Amazon!
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Are you ready to explore new landscapes
of the imagination?
As together we face the perils of naval warfare in the age of sail, navigate an unexpected society thriving just beneath our notice, commune with rodents, and meet characters both heroic and vile.
My first novel, Wainscot on the Heloise, is a gripping tale set in a vibrant environment packed full of danger and intrigue.
Lavishly illustrated, it takes readers of all ages on an exhilarating adventure in a world they haven't visited before.
It follows the land-rat Wainscot as he negotiates the perils and wonders of life aboard a 19th Century Warship during the War of 1812, discovering adventure, danger and, ultimately, family, amongst the feuding rat-clans of the ship.
When curiosity leads Wainscot, a rat from the port city of Halifax, to trespass in the chambers of his clan’s ruling council, he is discovered and forced to flee for his life. Pursued by the relentless Dayrunner, a ruthless enforcer of the council’s laws, he escapes by boarding the HMS Heloise, a frigate of the British Royal Navy. Once aboard, Wainscot is completely out of his element, and only by a chance meeting with Moonpatch, a rat of the ship and an outcast herself, does he survive his first perilous days in the hostile and alien world of the Heloise. Together the two rats struggle to establish a life for themselves while avoiding the hazards of existence aboard the ship: men, cats, and, most dangerous of all, the two rival rat-clans engaged in vicious conflict.
Dayrunner too finds himself a stranger in a hostile world, but by brutal application of force, and guided by the mysterious creature known as the Rat-king, kills his way to the leadership of the Aft Clan. He never forgets Wainscot, however, and his fight for domination leads inevitably toward obsession and madness.
The War of 1812 is raging, and the Heloise sets sail to practice her trade along the eastern coast of the US, preying on merchant shipping, and scrapping with the fledgling American Navy, while below her decks her rats wage a war of their own.
As battles burn from the gundecks to the depths of the holds, Wainscot and Moon are swept up in the conflicts of both men and rats, and only through the strength that they find in each other can they hope to weather the storms raging through
My approach to doing illustrations has changed considerably since my traditional ink and paper days. Take a look at how I do things now, using the multi-award winning app Procreate.
It has made working on illustrations and editing so much easier. Because I do the work on my iPadPro, with an Apple Pencil, I can faithfully emulate my old pen and paper, but can now draw anywhere, any time. It's a powerful, portable and versatile tool.
And I don't get ink stains on my fingers.
The Perfect Fuel
I have discovered that tea is the perfect fuel for the long, arduous, complicated, but ultimately thrilling journey from the unlimited promise of a blank page, through countless hours of writing, plot manipulation, rewriting, rethinking of previous plot manipulation, dialogue tweaking, and more than a little weeping, to a completed book that is ready for sharing with other readers.