Size: 198 x 129mm • 304 Pages • ISBN: 9781909679573
Publication: August 12, 2015 •
Published today, August 12, 2015!
Default Title – £8.99 GBP
Or see: Ebook £7.99
Molly Brown, a runaway orphan heads out to sea as the unlikely Captain of a Pirate ship. Meeting new and unusual friends on the way, including a talking cat, she is a fearless, imaginative and feisty girl. Aimed at readers aged 8 to 12 years.
A number of years ago a film hit the big screens – a story of love, bravery, inspiration and the British class system – that film was Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. I thought it was a disaster – much like it’s theme of the titular, doomed vessel. It began me on one of my mini obsessions. I began reading about the real Titanic, its construction, the men involved in its design and realisation, the great day of launch and the journey. A huge, stylish floating village with everyone in his or her place. The nobs at the top, the poor Irish in the lower decks and engine room. We all know what happened. But one person really stood out for me, Margaret Brown (July 18, 1867 – October 26, 1932). She was an American socialite, philanthropist, and activist who became famous because of her survival of the of the Titanic disaster. She took command of the lifeboat she was placed into and demanded the crew of the lifeboat to return to look for survivors. She became known after her death as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, and her image loomed large in my mind. Wasn’t this the sort of role model/heroine our young girls should look to, not the skinny models and ego fragile celebs flaunted daily in the media? And so I wrote my book for my daughter. It took a long time – too long. By the time I decided to self-publish, she was too old to read the printed copy, but she did act as my proof-reader when she was a child. Bless her.
Author and fellow contributor to Game Over, Simon Bestwick, is conducting a series of interviews with the authors of said anthology.
The Lowdown with… Alexandra Peel
Today’s Lowdown continues to shine a spotlight on the contrbutors to GAME OVER. Today’s victim is… Alexandra Peel. Alexandra is a visual artist turned author. She has a degree in Fine Art, Sculpture and has been a freelance community artist, painter, graphics tutor and book seller; she currently works as a Learning Support Practitioner in a F.E./H.E. college. The author of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a pirate adventure for children, she has also created a series of Penny Dreadful style stories under the heading, The Life and Crimes of Lockhart & Doppler, about a pair of miscreant treasure hunters based on hers and her daughter’s Steampunk alter egos. She is a member of Wirral Writers and can be found on Twitter and at her blog.
1. Tell us three things about yourself.
I hate pulses; I have a kind of horror of the ‘gritty’ texture of beans, especially baked beans. When I was a toddler, my father –in his wisdom as a new parent – made me eat a bowl of vegetable soup; I threw up all night and my mother forbade him from forcing me to eat vegetables again. So I grew up eating all my veg raw – carrots, cabbage, swede, etc. I have a black belt in Tai Kwon Do, hard earned as I am rather heavy around the ‘beam-end’. I harbour a secret fantasy that I am actually not my parents daughter.
2. What was the first thing you had published?
When my generation was growing up, parents were very hands off in their child rearing. I spent a lot of my early years alone in the back garden, or in the shed. I loved the shed, it smelt like an ironmongers shop. Here I drew a picture on a blackboard of a horse and a girl. My mother, when I showed her, sent me away to write a story about it – she was too busy doing laundry to appreciate my emerging talents! ‘The Princess and the Pony’ was printed in that week’s edition of the Liverpool Echo.
3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of?
I wrote a story (unpublished) called ‘Beneath the Skin’. Set in an alternative 19th century. I began it at a writing workshop run by Sam Stone at Lincoln Asylum, Steampunk weekend. It began with an idea of a serial killer and grew into two parallel stories that contrast then collide. It is my first full length novel.
4. …and which makes you cringe?
Lots. I’m relatively new to this. I’m learning. I tend to get over excited when I’m ‘on a roll’ and forget all about the technical aspects of the English language; I string lots of adjectives together like a badly made, colourful bunting.
5. What’s a normal writing day like? I don’t really have one. I have a ‘real’ job which takes up four or five days a week, however, it is part-time. Sometime I write for hours for days at a time, other times I do a short story and leave it at that. I am quite possibly the most undisciplined person in the UK, I’m naturally lazy. I carry little notebooks around with me to scribble ideas in; my work bag was stuffed with torn strips of paper at one point, collected over a period of weeks, I had to collate it all together – and then I ignored it for another few weeks.
6.Which piece of writing should someone who’s never read you before pick up first? I reckon a visit to my Blog. The stories are short, accessible and, like candy floss, require little effort of the part of the consumer. All the stories are about the same two characters – Lucy Lockhart and Theodora Doppler – a mother and daughter treasure hunting duo. Set in a ‘Steampunk’ alternate 19th century, Lockhart and Doppler are miscreants, opportunists and serial bed-hopper in the case of Lockhart. Frivolous fun in the style of the Penny Dreadful.
7. What are you working on now? A couple of things at once – I have the mind of a butterfly. A short story for an online submission about being stranded on a desert island. A 500 word piece for the writing group I am a member of – Wirral Writers – which I am struggling with, we get given a title, or a sentence, or selection of disconnected words and have to come up with something along those lines. Another story about Lockhart and Doppler for my blog. Plus, the second part of ‘Beneath the Skin’.
Delighted that I have been accepted for inclusion in this anthology; a selection of horror stories based on the 8os arcade games. A broad spectrum of writers included, from the well published Simon Bestwick and Michael Carroll, to newcomers like me. Edited by the talented, and extremely busy, Jonathan Green for Snowbooks.
Finally. The day is winding down. The guests have all retired, except the raven that coughs on the watery branch above. The dense dark descends, a too huge blanket on a frail child’s form, damp and suffocating pressing the day down and down towards and into the earth. Another and another and another will come.
My senses diminish with what I used to call time. Time, that smoky, tissuey thing that cannot be held or stored or made to bend to our will. That intransigent thing that slips through our fingers as sand, regardless of how much we scrabble and scurry, save and check. Make all the clocks in the world – you cannot hold time.
I burrow into my bed, a tick in winters nest, I am pressed in snug and still. A stranger has come to my bed, no longer a stranger. Here I lie, lie lightly, cossetted in white windings. A sumptuous enveloping of satiny embrace. I turn my eyes to look at the non-stranger beside me.
“How long have you been waiting?”
I should feel cold but I don’t. I should feel something, but, do I? It does not seem to matter, I have no regard for feelings. Feelings for those in their snug homes who chafe and rage, feelings for those who keen and sigh, feelings for the once spectacular morning skies lit sapphire that caresses the wing of the coal-black raven and dapples the cheek of the merry child. What need have I for feelings?
A memory stirs. A man, I remember a man. Through a veil his image strides forwards, arms held as if awaiting an embrace. He is a solid man, a worthy man. A man who meant something – once. And his features make the back of my mind tickle, like a surgeon with his electrode as he probes the exposed brain to stimulate a response. I am not aware of a response. All there is, is white and dark. White windings and the non-stranger.
“I cannot tell.”
I turn within my cocoon, hugging me to myself, hugging the non-stranger to myself, if I could smile I would. And the once me sinks lower under the sod. I sleep in my narrow trough.
I have a BlogSpot page that is devoted to a Steampunkesque, alternate 19th century series of short stories.
http://lockhartdoppler.blogspot.co.uk/ are a mother and daughter duo; treasure hunters, thieves, scoundrels. People who have read these stories seem to quite like them.
I’m going to devote this site to all the other stuff I write – and try not to allow the dastardly duo invade here too…