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That’s what happened back in 1980 when my first novel Duncton Wood was published. My friends, family and publishers were doubtful, saying: but it’s about moles! No, it’s about love. Maybe, but it’s still about moles. No, it’s about courage and spiritual quest. Yes, but they’re moles! No, it’s about you and I, about what we do, why we do it, what gives meaning to our lives, the universe and everything. But, but, but… surely it’s… It’s a journey and maybe once you start you’ll not want it to end...
Duncton Wood hit the best-seller a few weeks after publication and stayed there for six months. Five more Duncton books followed at which point I was satisfied that the journey was complete. Each book stood alone, as do the phases of our lives; yet each led to the next. When the last book was published in 1993 readers wanted more. But I felt that the characters – and the journey shared with readers – had reached a natural end.
Seven years later, for personal reasons, I did that rare thing for an author and withdrew all the titles from the market. The ‘personal reasons’ were simple: I no longer liked the fact that the big mainstream print publishers were gate-keepers of author creativity, often blocking or effectively suppressing work that authors like me wanted to write and readers like you wanted to read. I felt there must be a different and better way of getting my Duncton stories out there.
There is: crowd-funding and digital. The technology has come of age such that a project like Unbound gives back to authors and readers – and really we are the same – the power to make wonderful books, books to like, books to love. The right time finally for author and reader to work together to make the moles of Duncton Wood, who are really all of us, available in print form again in the right way. Meaning enjoyably, for the different rewards are fun, interesting and worthwhile; and best of all, crowd-funding offers us a chance to meet and explore how to take our journey together forward once more.
Bracken was born on an April night in a warm dark burrow deep in the historic system of Duncton Wood, six moleyears after Rebecca.This is the story of their love, and their epic struggle to find it.
It is a true story drawn from many sources, and the fact that it can be told at all is as great a miracle as the history it relates. But without one other mole, Blessed Boswell of Uffington, Bracken and Rebecca would have died the death of legend, their tale declining into the darkness of time as a simple story of love. It was much more than that, as the records kept by Boswell show, and it is these that form the bulk of the material on which this history is based.
There are other sources, some in the libraries of the Holy Burrows, others hewn in solitary stone or carried still in the legends of each system whose tunnels life made these three moles enter. But these are mere shadows when set against the work of Boswell himself.
But for his love and enterprise there would be no Bracken now. Yet without Bracken, Boswell could never had found his great task.
And without Rebecca, there would be nothing at all to tell.
So link their three names together in a blessing on their memory, and on the troubled time in which they had to make their lives...
To say a big a thank-you to the early subscribers who have pushed the Duncton Wood deluxe edition forward so fast – and to offer an incentive to the many readers who are about to subscribe - I've arranged for all of you to get a free copy of the DUNCTON WOOD ebook by Canelo. Existing subscribers will receive details of how to claim their free ebook from Unbound very shortly. The process will…
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