Tag Archives: Curtis Jobling

Wereworld

‘I think it’s always best to start at the beginning,’ said Curtis Jobling when I asked for his expert knowledge of his own books. That’s why I’m giving you the first Wereworld – Rise of the Wolf – rather than Curtis’s brand new third Werebook – Shadow of the Hawk. I’ll have to work my way slowly through this Wereworld, which is going to be hard if Curtis keeps up his current publishing speed. Basically, we’ll never be on the same level. Oh well, his loss…

The word ‘were’ sends shivers down my spine, and not the team Jacob kind of shivers. OK, so I loved Lupin, but there are only so many werewolves a witch can grapple with, and you do tend to think of black books and silly romance. But in this case you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Wereworld is your good old-fashioned adventure story, where some of the characters simply happen to be were-somethings. You need some magic, and pulling on were-powers when you’re in dire straits is about as normal as becoming Spiderman.

Curtis Jobling, Rise of the Wolf

We begin with young, innocent Drew who has a very bad day. A creature turns up, does unspeakable things, and Drew’s father isn’t as understanding as he could be, so throws Drew out, leaving him both shocked by what has happened, and having to look after himself in the woods of Lyssia.

After living wild for months, Drew meets people who come to have something to do with his future. He learns that he is a werewolf, and while he makes new friends and allies, there is a lot of backstabbing going on, too. Basically, this is a fast paced adventure where Drew and friends and foes head for the exciting end of book one. There is a temporary ‘happy’ end, but the cliffhanger is good and ready and we want to know what happens next.

If you like adventure, and are ready for weresharks and werebadgers (yes, really) and any other kind of ‘were’ you can think of, this is for you. Hard to say when this is set, if you can ask that about a fantasy world. Mostly it feels historical, but some of it seems more modern. The thing with fantasy is you can do what you like.

Lovely hints at a possible romance, although I suspect Curtis won’t take it in the direction I’d like. There is a warning on the back cover that the book ‘contains scenes of violence’ and it does, but probably no more than readers would expect. It’s a bit gory, but not too bad. Personally I feel it’s the politics that leave you feeling sick.

And I’m afraid they ate Bambi.

The Sefton ScareFest 2

Skeleton 2

Barry Hutchison and I are doomed. At least photo wise. I press. He blurs. Happily he’s not as doomed as some. Whether this is a former performer or an ex-member of the audience, I’m not sure. But almost anything can happen at ScareFests.

My train travel was a wee bit doomed yesterday. But I suppose there has to be a first time for waiting for a train on the opposite platform. (I blame Liverpool South Parkway. I have rarely seen a more confusing station. Apart from Edgware Road, of course.)

Tommy Donbavand, Joseph Delaney, Barry Hutchison, Jon Mayhew and Curtis Jobling behind the fire at Sefton ScareFest

Which will be why when I arrived at Crosby Civic Hall, Tony of Formby Books had taken his performing authors and gone to the pub. This much was clear from what the locked-in technician could tell me. ‘I have no keys. They have gone to the pub.’ Thanks to my Resident IT Consultant Tony’s mobile number was found and the scary authors were found and I was found and so on.

Curtis Jobling, Sefton ScareFest

Facebook is such an introducer of perfect strangers, that I almost didn’t say hello properly to Tommy Donbavand. We’ve shaken hands now, so must know each other. And Curtis Jobling I didn’t know at all. He seemed like a perfectly nice looking man until he did this.

Philip Caveney, Sefton ScareFest

As I mentioned earlier, we were fed. Some clowning around was done for the benefit of the photographers. The authors forced chocolate cake down and worried about laptop support for their performances. I admired Philip Caveney’s red Converses. (This thing with grown men wearing cool red shoes has to stop!)

Then it was time to descend to the level of the waiting throngs, where Philip was first to be thrown to the wolves. He survived by reading from his new book The Eye of the Serpent, and if I never hear about crawling beetles in ancient Egyptian tombs again it will be too soon.

Philip Caveney, Sefton ScareFest

Second out was Tommy who cheated by wrapping a member of the audience in toilet paper, assisted by Barry, and terrorising a perfectly good egg. Sorry, this was a nice girl, who was made to act the part of the dragon’s egg. But we had fun. Even the pumpkin had fun. It looked far too happy for a ScareFest.

Tommy Donbavand with dragon and others at Sefton ScareFest

Curtis Jobling, Sefton ScareFest

Scarecrow by Curtis Jobling

Last before the interval was Curtis, who was cooked to a crisp by then, having been made to sit more or less right inside the flames on the right of the stage. He’s a jack of all trades who can write books but also draw pretty pictures and does animation. Cool. (Well, he was hot, but you know…) It’s a neat party trick that; being able to draw scarecrows with parsnip noses, not to mention Were-Bob the Were-Builder. Who was raffled for charity. (I’d have liked him. I suppose if I’d bought a ticket I would have stood a small chance.)

Tommy Donbavand, Sefton ScareFest

Joseph Delaney, Sefton ScareFest

In the interval sweets were eaten and books were bought and signed. And people generally thronged. They could only be tempted back by the promise of having won Were-Bob and other goodies. There were prizes for best costume, and that was a hard choice, so it was lucky someone like Tommy got to pick the little cat.

Sefton ScareFest

Joseph Delaney, Sefton ScareFest

Joseph Delaney set a cracking pace after his ‘rest’, talking about book covers and what he thinks of them. He’s got a lot of book covers, and some of the more foreign ones don’t get anywhere near Preston or Lancaster in looks. Oh well.

Next was Jon Mayhew, who told us what we should ask for when the angels and the devil come calling. And then he read us the prologue to his new book, The Bonehill Curse. (It’s not out yet.) It won’t have a prologue, which will be why Jon read it and then gave it away. Authors!

Jon Mayhew, Sefton ScareFest

Last out was Barry who is still scared of squirrels. (So he should be…) There was also the small matter of scary milk cartons and cream eggs. Being a boy at heart, Barry managed to mention both number ones and number twos in his little act. It involved the kitchen sink (ew) and imaginary friends, possibly by the name of Derek. With or without knives. If the book trade runs dry he should have a go at stand-up.

Barry Hutchison, Sefton ScareFest

He just about finished on time. The reason I go on about time is that Tony thought it’d be a good thing for me not to disappear on an early pumpkin as I had planned to, but to stay and let Jon drive me (along with Philip and Curtis) to a better railway station to catch a later train.

I didn’t think it’d be possible. Philip was extricated from the proceedings. Then Curtis. No, he had more doodles to do in books. And a suitcase to pack. I found Jon and decided to hold on to him. But the man has little fans. He signed. And doodled. More books.

Now Philip had started signing. And Curtis, asked by Tony, who soon realised the error of his ways. So stop again. Then more fans for Curtis. Suitcase packed. Same fan with booklet for Jon. At this point Philip gave up all hope of ever seeing Stockport again.

Skeleton 1

It blurs. But eventually we were all squeezed into two-door car. (Ow.) Curtis sat on the windscreen liquid bottle. Nice drive into Liverpool, with lots of book talk. (And yes, I know one shouldn’t get into cars with men one has met on facebook.)

Liverpool has been so re-arranged that to get to the station you find yourself up close to the Catholic Cathedral, where you have no business being when catching trains. And then Jon missed the turning, so we went round again, not going down the one way street the wrong way as suggested by Curtis.

We decanted ourselves from small car. Hands were shaken. Witches were hugged. Philip and I headed into station despite it being five minutes too late by then. I insisted on looking at the departure board anyway, because the Resident IT Consultant has brought me up to do things like that.

Happy pumpkin

Did we catch the train?

Yes, we did. It was late. And I have not done such running for years, is all I can say. Philip ran faster, if only to make sure he didn’t have to spend an extra hour in the pub with a witch.

Curtis? Don’t know what happened to him. He wasn’t going where we went. You win some, you lose some.

Halloween – The prologue

Yes, I think it’s a bit early too. But Tony of Formby Books believes in Halloween starting early. So it did. He had that Barry Hutchison down from the Scottish Highlands, and then he looked more locally for the rest. Tony came up with Philip Caveney, Joseph Delaney, Tommy Donbavand, Curtis Jobling and Jon Mayhew.

Sefton Scarefest skull

It was their job to scare the children of Sefton, but in order to reign in their worst behaviour he fed them first. He fed me too, which was nice of him. And he bought me a drink in the pub across the road, where they had all gone to hide. Next time I will make sure I have all the mobile phone numbers I need, as well.

And this my dear readers, is as much as you get in the prologue. The whatever-logue will follow on another happy two-post day.