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I'm 80 years old, and that being so, liable to drop off the twig any time now. Also I've not been feeling very chipper lately, so it's time to put my house in order...


Over the last 20 years I've written books in my rare spare time (worked from 16 to 70 and family affairs kept me pretty busy since), and now I'm thinking what a pity it would be to let them gather dust, unread, to be eventually consigned to the rubbish-bin at my death, when they might have brought pleasure to one or two readers … such a waste of time and effort. No use approaching agent or publisher; they want young authors who'll continue to supply material in future, and future is the one commodity old people no longer have (being generously endowed with arthritis instead).


So I've turned to a Web Site, where maybe the books can (p.m.a.) bring some amusement to someone. Should there be sufficient interest, paperbacks could be printed. (Copyrights already pending, since so much literary stuff is pinched nowadays.)


'The OtherWorldlers' was written for my own grandchildren when these were small, and is set in 'The Garden' with all the countless creatures that dwell there (… spiders that chase and throw webs to capture prey, others that hold racial fights to the death, a mouse that terrorises cats, ants that tether and milk aphid herds as humans do with cows - and fairies and elves who are a matter of opinion). These and millions more dwell in the OtherWorld, which is open to all with eyes to see. Alas, most children nowadays rarely do see further than their mobiles, and miss so very much. Grown to their teens, my grandkids are now no different, but they have been there and seen and can revisit that OtherWorld whenever they need to retreat from the hectic maelstrom called modern living. Maybe this book will tempt other children to visit it too.


'The Pipes of Pan' and 'The Book of Sods' (resp., fantasy and SciFi for all ages) contain no fire-flaring dragons, evil sorcerers (tho' there is a very nice sorceress), battalions of terrible monsters, interminable searches for mystic treasure, rings, holy grails or what-have-you (all of which sagas, after a while, become tedious in their predictability), and no 'instant magic'. Magic does play a role, a very large role, but magic with cause, modality and effect – believable magic, magic explained. Also many misconceptions are rectified; for instance the completely false theories about Stonehenge, which was originally Stonehedge and gave birth to the stock market (hence the term 'hedge funds').


'With Teapot Rampant'  is nearer home, but as it covers a not-so-long-time-ago that is now as far removed from today as Earth is from Mars, and as the last of its inhabitants are now also 'falling off the twig' one by one, I feel its characters deserve to come under the rubric 'OtherWorldlers'.

[Note: The Teapot is at present conspicuous by its absence 'cos I've lost the damn diskette and haven't yet worked out how to scan the hardcopy into the web site  ... will add it soon (I hope).]


Well, that's about it … There are lots of stories hanging about in the ether, just waiting to be written down – but not by me... can't get round to it … too old … too many other things to do … two pesky teenagers to lose a constant running battle to … too lazy ... too whatever other excuse you can call to mind . . .


P.S. When selecting Excerpts to tempt (or discourage) potential readers, I noted and amended a couple of spelling mistakes in Excerpts from Book II of Pipes of Pan. To my dismay, my granddaughter informs me that I can't adjust these in the book itself without removing it from the Web site entirely, altering it and then replacing it - and frankly, at the moment I can't face that, it's taken me months to get this far and, being fussy, I'd feel obliged to go through the whole darn book again in search of other mistakes . . . The mistakes were eying (should be eyeing) nonchantly (should be nonchalantly), and throughways i(should be thoroughfares).


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