There’s always a story behind the story, and this one is particularly interesting…
‘The Blackwood Crusade’ was born after a long discussion with a nice man on a train journey to North Wales. The nice man was Dr. Melchior Williams, now a much-loved friend, and he had discovered an exciting collection of old 13th Century manuscripts which spoke of an all-out war against pesky supernatural elements bothering a tiny village in the middle of England. Most of the records were petitions by the villagers to the Lord of the Manor speaking of events ‘wyked and evyll’, ranging from the bizarre to the seriously scary. There was also a lengthy report from someone called Christiana, who was summoned by the lord to ‘soulve the mystry’ (crikey – they were such bad spellers in those days :-))
I thought about that train conversation many times over the passing weeks and, each time I thought of the small village, new characters and embellishments appeared in my mind, and the beginnings of a story began to appear. Finally, I emailed Melchior – luckily we’d exchanged business cards – and presented my idea: to work the manuscripts into a fictional story. He was absolutely thrilled and the rest is history!
- The village of Blackwood can be found on very old maps of Warwickshire, but the place itself has long since been lost. Nobody is sure of its exact locality. Melchior places it somewhere on the edge of the Forest of Feckenham. In the book, all place and county names are fictional.
Find out more about The Blackwood Crusade here.