It’s always difficult returning to old haunts. It’s particularly difficult, as I discovered last year, when the old haunt is a figment of your own imagination.
The last novel in my Larus series was published back in 2016, so it had been quite a while since I’d thought about those characters and that setting. In between times, I had written another novel and a series of illustrated books; the Larus novels were out of print and I thought I’d left it all far behind.
But the creative imagination is a wilful creature, and as we came out of the last lockdown (in the UK), I found there was a story determinedly forming, a prequel to my old Larus tales. It was strange to reimagine my grumpy old parson, the Reverend Pontius, as a callow young man just setting out in life; but reimagine him I did, and the story, as they say, wrote itself. It took a great deal of effort to remember the original tale, and, indeed, I went back and rewrote some of it as I went along. Even so, I soon had a neat little novella, and an idea for another. And another.
My lovely publishers, Veneficia Publications, have now issued Call of the Merry Isle, as I titled it, in paperback, and I am hopeful that the other stories and the original novels too, will all be published in due course. Merry Isle is a delightful story, though I say so myself, with the serious young Reverend Pontius encountering some unlikely people and even more unlikely events as he seeks his way in life.
It just goes to show that a story is never really finished. I had thought the series complete with the third book, but here it is bursting out again. It feels good to have the Isle of Larus and its quirky inhabitants back in my care once again. I have more ideas for them than I can cope with, but that, as they say, is another story!
Call of the Merry Isle is available from Independent Publisher | Veneficia Publications| United Kingdom