It’s a really good idea to launch a book in the place that first inspired its author to write the story. That’s what happened yesterday at Lancaster Castle, for Joseph Delaney’s new book The Ghost Prison.
Unfortunately I wasn’t there. (That’s because I am now here, travelling at great speed – it’s those Pendolinos – past that very castle, just to be on the safe side. I’m going to Bloody Scotland, and to chase ghosts round a dark old castle the night before just got too much in the end…)
Besides, there is a witch in this book. And not one of your friendly neighbourhood ones.
The Ghost Prison is a great little story, although possibly best enjoyed in full daylight. I first read it as part of the Andersen anthology Haunted almost two years ago. It features Billy, who is a young orphan and who has just started working as a prison guard at the castle. Then someone requests him for night duty…
I’ll say no more.
I’ve not heard back from the launch. I hope it went not only well, but that everyone who was there emerged safe and sound at the end. As I said, it’s good to get into the spirit of things, but you could take it too far.