Regular visitors to my social-media foxholes may remember that, around about September of last year, I went completely mad and hand-wrote an entire novel. Well, a novella, but let’s not split hairs or fingerbones. :-D That novella was the very first book in my Tyack & Frayne series, Once Upon A Haunted Moor.
I’m now about to auction that handwritten manuscript on eBay. This is not something I’ve ever done before. Generally, if I have something good to give away, I’d way rather make a lottery prize of it so that everyone has an equal chance of winning. But, just for once, I have an ulterior motive.
I think most of you know how wonderfully inspiring Cornwall has been to me as an author. I’ve set five novels here, and I’d like to give something back. I think the best way of doing that is to try to acknowledge and help the fantastic work done by CASPN, the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network.
Not only has CASPN introduced me to some astounding places, many of which became locations for my Tyack & Frayne series, the group also welcomed me and Mrs H at a time when we were feeling quite dislocated and uncertain down here. I’ll always be grateful, and I’d like to donate any funds I can raise through the sale of the Haunted Moor manuscript to them.
CASPN is a charitable partnership. It receives very little regular funding and even this little has been cut back lately. It’s entirely reliant on volunteers to protect the many, many magical places of Penwith – the circles, standing stones, barrows and enclosures. Here’s a link to their website if you’d like more details of the incredible work they do.
Some of my Facebook friends may have seen the recent awful news of damage done to Boscawen-Un stone circle. Nobody knows for sure who’s caused it – possibly ill-informed folks at a Solstice ritual, possibly treasure-hunters with metal detectors. It’s not possible to monitor all the sites all the time and really the only way to get the message across that these sites are fragile, precious and part of an irreplaceable heritage for all of us is EDUCATION. Leaflets, school visits, signage at the sites themselves to say that unauthorised digging is illegal... Many other ways, and I’m certain the CASPN leaders can and will come up with answers, but it all costs money, and I’d like to give ’em some. :-D
As I said, this is a first for me, and an experiment. I’d like to think that the Haunted Moor manuscript is a bit of a collector’s item, but I’m also aware that this whole endeavour might fall spectacularly on its arse and I’ll be donating the manuscript in due course as landfill to help prop up a drooping monolith. (I will be putting a reserve on the item because I’d like to retain the landfill option.) LOL! We’ll see.
Anyway, what you will get is my original notebook, as seen in the photographs, with my first print-out of the cover art, and the entire original handwritten story just as it happened, complete with margin notes, revisions, and occasional wild flurries of arrows and bubbles as I attempted to cut and paste without the aid of a computer. You’ll be able to see what made the final cut and what didn’t. You’ll even find out the original name of Dark Village! The only missing portions are eleven pages where I’d made personal notes on the back. I’ve scanned and printed out these pages and inserted them where they belong (as nearly as possible – the page numbering got a bit wild as I carted the notebook around the wilds of Scotland on holiday, sitting on various windswept rocks). I’ve also redacted just a few scribbles here and there where I’ve written down phone numbers, etc, because I was also using the notebook as a daily memo pad! I’m also including plot notes so you can get an idea of the story’s evolution “on the hoof”.
I think this really is a pretty cool piece of memorabilia and, if you’ve enjoyed my work, I hope you might consider placing a bid. I’m using eBay in the hope of making the auction available to as many of you as possible, and I welcome bids from abroad and will ship worldwide at my own expense. I’ll also add a dedicatory note.
So, here we go! Here is the link to the listing on eBay. Any problems seeing it, please let me know.