Monday, 31 August 2015

Myles and the Monster Outside KIRKUS REVIEW

Coming Sept. 2015, Dundurn Press
"Dowding’s second Weird Stories Gone Wrong is a relatively realistic, carefully written Goosebumps ... this is a gentle but still shivery spook tale.
Readers who have made a big move will identify with Myles and his fears made manifest. (Horror. 7-10)"
--Kirkus Reviews, July/2015
I'm quite thrilled with this review from Kirkus for my 2nd book in the Weird Stories Gone Wrong series, thank you! Their reviews are no-nonsense and their tagline is: "The World's Toughest Reviews on the World's Top Selling Books."
1 of 6 illustrations from Shawna Daigle
I particularly appreciate the "Goosebumps" mention, my children read R.L Stine until the books fell apart, I'm very honoured to be compared to that classic middle-grade horror franchise.

This story is a truly creepy paranormal road-trip told through the eyes of an anxious 12-year old boy. We all have monsters, right? Who hasn't been that child in the back seat on a long car drive, who starts to see things out the window? I know I definitely was. 
Myles and the Monster Outside is forthcoming from Dundurn Press, Sept 19, 2015, and is accompanied by 6 fantastically creepy illustrations by Shawna Daigle.
For more reviews, check Goodreads.
Read my author letter which accompanies the ARC of Myles and Monster Outside.
To request an Advance Media Copy please contact Dundurn Press or request an E/ARC from NetGalley now.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Puck's Dream and Murray Dowding

Puck's Dream, Murray Dowding, @1910

My grandfather, Murray Dowding, was quite a talented photographer and from @ 1895-1935 took thousands of photographs around Yate, centred mostly in Chipping Sodbury, Iron Acton and other fascinating English towns.

Judging by Puck's Dream, I'd say my grandfather would love my Weird Stories Gone Wrong series of horror stories for kids!

The photo of his little terrier dog, Puck, was taken in his studio apparently while Puck was having a rather bad dream (after swallowing spirits?). My dad always told me that although very well trained and particularly attached to Murray, the little dog was "irascible." On the right is Murray as a young man (@1910?). I've grown up listening to stories about Murray and his photography, since as a boy Dad helped drag his father's heavy camera equipment and glass plates all over the countryside.

This week, google showed me this: Murray Dowding Calendar

The Chipping Sodbury historical society and a local photographer, Rich McDonough, have collaborated to create a then-and-now 2016 calendar featuring my grandfather's work coupled with modern day photos of the same spot. They've very generously sent me a few copies, thank you! A very special thanks to Jim Elsworth from the Chipping Sodbury historical society for sending me fascinating jpg images of my grandfather's work, and also many thanks to Alexandra Womack from the Gloucester Gazette, for getting me in touch with everyone. More to come in the weeks ahead when the calendars arrive, but for now, please enjoy some of Murray's online images.

The Long and the short of it, 1916