This is my first book, a collection of original ghost stories all themed around fish, fishing and fishy places. It’s just not aimed at anglers, however, and there’s very little actual fishing in it. You certainly don’t have to understand or like angling to appreciate it – but you might know a little bit more about what makes us tick by the end of it.
Fish naturally have twists in their tail and so do these stories. Think Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected, with a touch of MR James and Edgar Allan Poe, and just a sprinkling of Izaak Walton.
There’s also a goodly amount of real history intertwined with several of them – as befits the story of how it came to be written.
Inspired by a history podcast
Over the years I had vague thoughts of writing fiction but never anything concrete. Then one day in 2021 I was in the bath listening to a podcast called The Rest is History. The subject was the history of ghosts. Suddenly I knew what I wanted to write about.
I resisted the temptation to leap out of my bath like Archimedes and shout ‘Eureka’ while running through the streets, this being a bit much, even for bohemian Stoke Newington in London where I live.
My idea was to write ghost stories. But not just your standard stories set in Gothic graveyards, haunted houses or mysterious mansions. All my life I have loved fishing. And it’s a pastime that often involves remote places, being on your own, the wind rising, darkness falling….
I spent the rest of the day researching online. It turns out that yes, lots of anglers do claim to have seen ghosts. Over the years, there’s been the odd ghost story set in the world of angling. But there’s cnever been a whole collection of original ghost stories about fish, fishing and fishy places. So I decided to write it.
Elements of real history
As a big fan of history I also knew that I would include elements of history, both real and fictionalised, within the book. The English Civil War, World War II, the Witch Craze and even a Victorian serial killer all put in an appearance. There are also a couple of other historical episodes which it would spoil the plots to mention here.
Publication date: 31st October 2023 – Halloween
Details of how to pre-order your copy to follow.