Your Novelist Needs You! Your chance to become a character in The Rebels’ Riot Feast

Friday, 26 February 2016

When you support The Rebels’ Riot Feast, you’re part of something unique.

This is the first ever novel written about the ancient, guilty pleasure of English bull running. It’s also the first novel set in 1830s Buxton. But the most interesting part of its uniqueness is that you, my subscriber and future reader, can shape it, and even step into the pages as one of its characters.

This is a crowdfunded writing project; but pledging is just the beginning – the crank that gets the engine working. What I really want is your input. What should the main characters of the book do in the face of the seemingly impossible tasks and terrors that face them?

Don’t just tell me. Become one of the main characters. If your idea is what the book needs to take it to the next level, I’m inviting you to enter the plot and lead the action in person, as a character in the novel.

To get your imaginations into top gear, here’s the situation my lead character needs to resolve:

It’s 1837, a few months into the reign of Queen Victoria, an age defined by social and moral reform. Ged Aldridge, the novel’s young hero, needs to stop the Buxton bull running carnival and rescue the animal earmarked for the event. The only people who can help him are Renny, the local MP’s son; and Baalien and Tallim Troy, an otherworldly pair from the lime-burners’ village on Grin Low, the industry-wrecked, treeless white hill that rises above the market town like the ghost of a volcano.

Renny offers determination and quick-thinking; but even if they work together, the young friends face an impossible task – spiriting away a wild bull without being caught and/or killed, and ending a carnival that has been the heart and soul of the town for a thousand years.

The Troys offer magic – the secret art of wild-whispering, which can control any animal, and could help Ged free the bull before the bull-run. But their offer of assistance is made on condition that Ged helps them take bloody revenge on an old enemy of theirs – Ged’s brutal father.

Win a place in the novel!

At this point I need to send in a narrative curveball – i.e. you – to discover a ‘third way’. What would YOU do? Can Ged get to use the Troys’ magic without being an accomplice in the murder of his own father? Is Renny the straightforward, good friend he appears to be? Has the reform-focused world really forgotten all about the little hilltop market town in the Peak District, or is it planning something behind the scenes? I’m plonking you in the middle of Buxton Market Place, in 1837. What are you going to do?

Don’t hang about – make a pledge, send me your ideas, and become a main character (under your own name, if you wish) in The Rebels Riot Feast. As an incentive, there’s a free copy of one of my previous books, The Peak District Year for the best six plot ideas; and at least one of you will get to appear in the book and shape the action from the inside.

If you want me to send you more excerpts in addition to the bits published on Unbound, just ask. Please specify pdf or .doc format. And don't forget to spread the word and get The Rebels' Riot Feast past the finishing post!

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