Once Evie, Emma, Sammy and Arthur properly form their secret society of Time Unravellers, Arthur is quick to formalise a set of rules to govern their use of the time machine…


“Oh yes,” Arthur remembered. He cleared his throat. “So. I’ve come up with a list of rules for time travel. And I think it would be sensible that we agree on them.”

“Dooooo weeeeee have a say on whether we agree with them?” Evie asked with a chuckle.

“How many rules are we talking about?” Sammy asked. “And when did you find the time to do this? It wasn’t last night, and we spent the ride to school working on the whole ‘we have much to discuss’ bit.”

“Biology. And there are eighty-six. I’ve hand-written these because I didn’t think it was a good idea to type them up in case someone found the file. We really can’t let anyone find out about this.”

“Eighty-six?” Sammy said in wonder.

“There are copies for each of us, so please read them and keep them somewhere safe,” Arthur continued.

“You hand-wrote four separate copies?” Emma gasped. “You came up with eighty rules and wrote them out by hand four times…all in Biology? That’s insane!”

Arthur shrugged. “Biology is pointless,” he explained. “Doing it in a Physics lesson would be insane. Although it would be conducive to the thought process, obviously.”

“Obviously,” Evie agreed dryly.

“Eighty-six?” Sammy repeated.


Each chapter features a different rule from Arthur’s comprehensive list. Why 86 of them? Ah, well – that would be telling!

The novel takes place in an historic canal town called Aubern. It is set primarily in our present, with short sections in the Victorian period, the 1940s, and very briefly in the Jurassic period. Our hero is 12-year-old Evie Stone. Evie is the keeper of a twee antique metronome, which turns out to be a time machine. But the device is not what it seems. Far from being a dream come true, the metronome has a will of its own and cannot be trusted. It pitches Evie into increasingly dangerous situations, a pattern which culminates in the climax of the book.

As well as being introduced to Evie, we meet her friends:

  • Emma Gardner, a proud and street-smart girl in whose shadow Evie lives
  • Arthur Patch, the brains of the group, who devises the name ‘Time Unravellers’ and a list of 86 rules to govern their time travel capers
  • Sammy Tickle, who lends his dry humour when it’s most needed and least expected (and vice versa)

We also meet:

  • Harley McCool, the school’s modern day equivalent of Arthur Fonzerelli
  • Craig Campbell, the school’s equivalent of Flashman

Evie witnesses Craig Campbell bullying Raven, a new girl at the school. Evie is plagued by her inability to intercede. The book chronicles the events which lead to Evie finding the courage to go back and stand up to Craig Campbell, and to save Raven. In the course of her journey, Evie meets the mysterious Elmley and discovers the the time machine has a complicated history of its own. Together, Evie and her friends must ready themselves for a showdown with The Company – a shadowy organisation hellbent on acquiring the time machine at any cost.

Thump! Loud and frightening. Made by something big. Poppy sat up suddenly, her eyes flitting towards the sound which still echoed in her head. Had that noise come from inside there? How could that be?

Wee Paper BoatThis story was conceived when I was about to start my degree dissertation. I’d been researching the figure of the child in horror literature, and was about to write some 8000 words on it. It seemed like a good idea to write a horror story about a child.

Poppy is, I hope, a pretty believable six-year-old girl. The story is about her belief in a monster, the kind that favours the underside of children’s beds. But the real point of the story is about the nature of childhood innocence – and one little girl’s battle for it.

This story will soon be available exclusively on Amazon, and for a limited time it will be free!

She said it was a bad place, especially for girls, and especially for girls her age. Alexandra didn’t really understand why. Her father had wanted to tell her some horror story about the basins, but he had been challenged by a barrage of objections from her mother. It had been one of many conversations Alexandra had listened to from the top of the stairs.

EndRoadI wrote the following story a few years ago. At the time of writing, I was planning a crime novel about a series of murders in a small town, and the effect those crimes would have on the people involved (the police, family, etc.). This story was intended to serve as a kind of epilogue, to reveal that the killer was never found. The novel still isn’t written (nor indeed even plotted), but the epilogue is. Which is probably a fairly strange way to do things!

The story came about one cold afternoon during the walk home from the beach. It was raining heavily, and I was sodden. This story, more or less in its entirety, came to me as I passed a bench. It’s rare for a story to come to mind in such completeness. I began writing it the moment I got home. One thing I was keen to do with The End of the Road was to continue exploring the geography and history of Aubern. One of the murders described in this story – that of Peter Freeman – is also mentioned briefly in an episode of Down the Centre. Over time, more and more of Aubern will be revealed. I have big plans for that town.

The End of the Road

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