Here are links to short stories and extracts that have appeared either on the blog or this website. Check the ‘Teasers’ section as well.
A Hallowe’en Extract. This is Chapter 7 of The Traveler in Black and White but it makes a good little story for Hallowe’en all on its own, so I put it here rather than under ‘Teasers’. It’s just over 3000 words and suitable for 10 and up.
Dylan’s Yuletide Journey. This is a three part serial, totalling around 7000 words, first published in December 2012 on this website. It introduces Dylan and Dougall, the Princelings of the North. Dylan uncovers a plot, and makes an enemy, while Dougall makes a scientific discovery. Princeling (or should I say Prince Engineer) George makes an appearance too! The links to the second and third parts are at the bottom of each post. Suitable for all ages. You can also get an edited version as an ebooks from Smashwords, or find it in the BookElves Anthology Volume 1. This is now a prequel to book 8 of the series – The Princelings of the North.
Dougall’s Reindeer Adventure is a sequel to Dylan’s Journey, and was a Christmas story for the BookElves Anthology Volume 2. It includes a talking reindeer and a meeting with Santa, so doesn’t really fit in the series as such, but it contains interesting backstory about Dougall, his life and motivations. Dougall is of course one of the Princelings of the North.
Explosive Mixture A 1600 word extract from a future book featured in the A to Z Challenge April 2013. It shows George and Fred at work at Castle Marsh. This would be at least five years on from the end of Lost City. Suitable for all ages.
Glory of Calella. This is the back story for Glory – one of Humphrey’s team in The Talent Seekers. Nothing like doing back story before the main story comes out! Suitable for 10 and up, although it includes implied abuse.
Humphrey Goes East. This is set in the future and was originally written for what I envisaged would be the last in the series. Then I felt I had to write the others first to make sure I had all the developments right. Humphrey is going west when he leaves Arbor at the start of Lost City – a journey which is continued in the Talent Seekers. This story takes place some years later.
Rajah of Nilgiri. This is a 1200 word backstory explaining how Mariusz came to meet the Rajah, aka Blackbird, who he mentions from time to time. He was implicated in some goings on at Arbor in Traveler in Black and White. That implies that Mariusz met Rajah some time in the mid-late 1990s, and suggests that Mariusz may not have been top pig at Castle Hattan then, but he was already a big shot in the cola business (unless the Co-Runner venture was his first big business test). Having given the Rajah the alias of Blackbird in Traveler, I was delighted to discover that in India there is a Nilgiri blackbird that has similar colouring to the guinea pig called Blackbird on whom the Rajah is based. Hence the use of the Nilgiri Hills as Rajah’s Rajdom.
Blackbird continues to appear from time to time in later books (e.g. Bravo Victor), sometimes in disguise!
Uplifting Experience. Professor Saku is encouraged to copy the new strawberry power plant and install it at Hattan, but makes an interesting and useful discovery in the process!
Vacuums and Vehicles. Victor is happily working in the Inn of the Seventh Happiness when he finds there’s trouble at the vacuum post Message Exchange. Meanwhile, Prince Lupin has trouble with his new-fangled horseless carriage. This got edited into the start of Bravo Victor.
X marks the Spot. We are transported back up north to Castle Haunn, where Dylan has found a message in a bottle. He tries to persuade Dougall to his cause. Dylan and Dougall starred in the Christmas Story, Dylan’s Yuletide Adventure – see above – and are in a second story in the BookElves Anthology Volume 2. This story is now edited into the start of book 8 The Princelings of the North.
Zephyrs and other winds. Fred prepares to present his paper on winds at his summer study. Kira and George assist him. Sort of. Could well be in the Chronicles of Marsh.
Fred’s Yuletide Escape: this serial appeared on the blog for December 2013. It’s in ten parts and created a raft of ideas that I’ve picked up for later developments in the series. Start with the first episode and click the forward arrow right at the bottom of the post, after the Comments, for the next in the sequence.
Castle Marsh Yuletide Narrathon 2014: This appeared on the website in 2014, but shifted in the timeline for the series to a year or two later. These are four stories (one in two parts), based on well-known seasonal stories, that Willoughby has translated so as to be suitable for his audience. There’s also a postscript as Fred says goodbye to Willoughby afterwards. Again, connect between the stories using the forward arrow at the bottom of the post, after the Comments. This is now incorporated into book 7, Willoughby the Narrator.
No Room at the Inn of the Seventh Happiness. This first appeared for Christmas 2015, and I’ve rolled it out for a re-run at least twice. One of my personal favourites, a story by Willoughby, and a hard-working Victor with his feet on the ground, putting customer service first as usual!
A Pirate Yule. A two-part Christmas story in 2016, developing the life of the pirates after they kidnapped Fred in Fred’s Yuletide escape. Turns out to be relevant to book 8, the Princelings of the North, too.
The Thief of the Moon. A new 1800 word story on Jemima’s blog in June 2017. Features King Fred explaining eclipses to his daughter Jasmine, and Willoughby doing a story. Could well be included in Book 9.