Sunday, 11 July 2021


On July 15th my new novel "Stories We Tell Our Children" is published by Lendal Press. A novel in 30 thematically linked short stories, which explore many different types of story and narrative that we offer our children in their early years. From the early picture books, through fairy tales to detective and science fiction, to non-literary narratives such as advertising, boy bands and fandom's social media, football, Punch and Judy, ballet and visual art, the novel examines what these narratives offer, how they are structured and whether they are healthy or not, in what is increasingly becoming a more complex world. 


JoyZine  "The book has been written by an author who is intelligent, an acute observer of our society, well read and loves his art. Combined with the ability to make you smile and cringe on occasion, it’s a job well done."

Never Imitate  "The overarching theme may be the stories we tell our children and how these impact their development, but the tales also bring to light the stories we tell ourselves."


There are quote cards with short examples from the book here.

The video below is a reading from one of the chapters "Father Trismus"

The video below is a short discussion about how rich children's imaginations are and how information given to them in good faith, they can run with and take to damaging extremes and which formed the basis for the story "Father Trismus". 

The video below examines why story plays such a central role in all our lives and the two after it talk about the dangers of too much story and how there is a need for new narrative structures and new stories, for the sake of our planet.

The little white lies we carry on as traditions, such as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, are developmental stages from which the child will eventually pierce the illusion and the joyous mutual conspiracy will fall by the wayside. But what happens when that isn't the case with a white lie, or if a child plays it to their advantage against the parents? 

Language is a key component of children's play. They voice dolls, action men, football games and the like. But adults lose this sense of story, because their play takes much more rigid lines, such as competitiveness in sports, or the art of creation where the art form is the narrative. 

I talk about retaining the playfulness of language in "Stories We Tell Our Children" and how writing itself can be playful simply through language.

When you talk about the constituent elements of a novel, one that is often left out of discussion is that of time. Time is multi-faceted in novels, working in three different ways and I talk about these different applications 

The novel is available from all good UK outlets, but I would encourage you to support local and independent bookshops to help them recover from the pandemic by ordering from here if you can't get to those shops in person. 

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