The Dad Who Cried Wolf
This is a whimsical retelling of a famous folk tale. It's extracted from one of my unfinished novels — "The Book of Lies"
For my thirteenth birthday I got a typewriter. I loved its clunky mechanics and the artful complexity required to load it with interlacing sheets of foolscap and carbon paper. I wrote dreadful stories on it based almost entirely around a hero who was always too good to be true.
In my teens I read voraciously. And I’ll never forget the bittersweet pleasure of realising that there were only twenty or so pages of Diana Wynne Jones’s “The Power of Three” — the mixed emotions of feeling the width of the remaining pages dwindle to nothing. On one hand I wanted to finish the book – to devour all of its secrets, on the other I knew that once the final page had been turned reality would once more intrude and the magic of another first read would disappear forever. There was a wealth of children’s writing that furnished me with a more mature view of fiction. The hero was never perfect, the villain never entirely evil. So with my trusty typewriter I developed more realistic, although still fantastical words and worlds.
As adulthood approached I learned how to make a living. I wrote computer programs during the day which paid the bills, and wrote nonsense at night which fed my spirit. I sent some short stories off to Interzone and gained quite a rapport with the editors, especially Lee Montgomerie who was always very encouraging about what I sent, but never so encouraging as to publish anything. Looking back at my competition I can understand why.
In my thirties children took up most my time. But the rare moment of quiet would always be spent dreaming – conjuring words together to please myself and perhaps an avid fan of mine at bedtime. And then I turned forty and the words began to explode onto the page. I had more time, and more focus and almost before I knew it I’d finished “Entering the Weave” A decades long process of idle thought and frantic life mashed together with my ever present desire to emulate the heroes of my childhood. So thank you Diana Wynne Jones, Alan Garner, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and every other hero of mine.