The last two months have been a crazy rush to get Great Escapes, Volume 1 edited and printed, hence the reason this blog has been somewhat neglected. But, the hard work is nearly over; the book is here! There are a few technical niggles to iron out with the eBook but by the end of next week it’ll be available to buy in all formats.

This weekend I’ll be at Cardiff  Comic Expo with The Great Escape and Hellbound Media where the book will go on sale for the first time, along with prints, art cards and merchandise for the Great Escape’s other projects. If you’ll be there, make sure you come and say “hi” and take a look at the new book.

Great Escapes, Volume 1 - Books, prints and art cards

Read an EXCLUSIVE excerpt of That Summer at the Lake – The brand new short written for Great Escapes, Volume 1

As part of the Kickstarter fund raiser for the book I offered a custom short story for one backer. Below is an excerpt from the resulting story, based on an original concept by Simo Muinonen.

She put her hand out and brushed her fingers on his calf below his rolled up trousers. He jumped and pulled his legs up onto the jetty. One hand quickly pulled the cabled pods from his ears. “Who’s there?” The scratchy sound grew louder.

“Hello Boydvass.”

“Kelsy?”

“What are those pod things?”

He paused for a second, rapid breath slowing, and then dangled the pods from his hand. “These?”

“Yes, are they making that noise?”

“You’ve never seen headphones before?”

“What are they for?”

He disentangled the cords from his clothing and pulled a little white box from his pocket. “I use them to listen to my iPod. Do you want to try?” He held out the headphones but kept the box in a firm grip. “Don’t get them wet.”

Kelsy smiled, took the headphones and held one to her ear. The faint noise grew until loud, fast-paced music filled her ear. She added the second. It was very noisy, but so exciting. Nothing like the gentle singing of her kind. Ears stoppered up with the headphones blaring away she couldn’t hear anything else. No wonder Boyd didn’t hear her approach.

“It is very interesting music,” she shouted over the din.

Boyd said something else but the words didn’t penetrate.

“What?”

He put one hand to his ear and mimed pulling out the headphones. Kelsy removed them.

“I said it’s Biffy Clyro.”

“What’s a biffy clyro?” she asked.

Boyd chuckled. “The band, silly. Boy, you really don’t get out much living here.” He pressed the iPod and the music stopped.

“Never, actually.”

“Do you live here all year?”

“Yes. We get ice on the lake in the winter.”

“I’ve never been here in the winter.”

“I know.”

His brow creased. “How do you know?”

“You used to visit in the summer, every year. Then you didn’t.”

He let out a long sigh. “Yeah, after the accident my parents didn’t think it would be safe for me here.”

“Accident? Is that how you became blind?”

The corner of his mouth quirked up. “You noticed that, huh?

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