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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Introducing Celeste

Imagine arriving in a brand new city - a place you've never set foot before, yet everything feels familiar - places, people.

You start to get flashbacks to a different time - Medieval times.

And then comes the terrible sensation that you're being haunted. There's an ominous presence following you, whispering to you, terrifying you.

Is it just déjà vu or something more sinister?

That's the predicament that 14 year old Megan Miller finds herself in when her family move to Coventry to start a new life. Plagued by feelings of déjà vu, dreams and confusing memories - so real that it breaks her heart, Megan soon realises that she has lived - and died before.  Her name had been Celeste.  Only now some ancient, ominous presence is following her, haunting her, whispering in her ear... Where did you hide it?

Megan was studying the panels of mosaic windows that sent a kaleidoscope of colours onto the stone floor. Then everything dimmed. She hadn't seen it coming. One second she was in the vast echoing new cathedral surrounded by tourists when suddenly the walls closed in around her and she was alone.
The smell of incense hung heavily in the darkness. Lighted torches standing in niches in the brickwork sent flickering shadows across the rugged flagstones. The stone beneath her feet was rough and uneven. Narrow arched doorways were set along the passageway and from a darkened recess she felt the claustrophobic presence of a tall shrouded black figure. The evil was tangible, the air chilled and a feeling of nausea swamped her.
A voice harsh and demonic whispered in her ear...

Where did you hide it?”

The other day, one of my Monday Night writing class students asked me how long it takes on average to write a book.  I realised that there's no clear answer to that. I told her that when I was writing The Trunk, a Puffin Book in their Eerie Series, writing the first draft only took a weekend. But as for Celeste, well... I remember getting the initial spark of an idea about 15 years ago! Originally the idea stemmed when I was researching Coventry's oldest surviving church, Saint Mary Magdalene's in Wyken for an article. 

There were lots of stops and starts, writes and rewrites, leaving it lying untouched for months... years.  Then a couple of years ago, I blew the digital dust off the manuscript and gave it a total re-write.  And happily Astraea Press, (www.astraeapress.com) an American publisher, accepted it for publication, and its launch is all set for 3rd June 2014.  

Being a Coventry Kid, it's great to be able to write about the City I was born and grew up in. As I was writing Celeste, I had specific places in mind - her house, well that's near Wyken Croft where I'd often walked my dogs.  Her school - all I had to do was think back to my own school days. And of course the Medieval story - well that's still there, so you could, if you wanted follow in Celeste's footsteps. You could climb the spiral stones steps of the old Cathedral Spire, explore the new cathedral and even go down into the dark passageways of the ancient priory ruins below. You could see the city as Celeste saw it...

If you know about Coventry, then you'll know the story of
Lady Godiva.  In Celeste one of the characters is linked with
that famous lady.

And here she is... she popped into a book launch event when she heard that an earlier book of mine was being launched. That was about Coventry too. The Children's History of Coventry and she was mentioned in that too.

Fact and fiction, the present and the past. Isn't it nice to combine the both sometimes and see where it leads.

Lady Godiva (Pru Porette) and Ann Evans

Your past can catch up with you, but can you catch up with your past - and survive?

Celeste will be available from Amazon after the 3rd June 2014.  And please visit my website for news of other books that you might like. www.annevansbooks.co.uk