I’ve written several children’s novels and am trying to finish one I started for NaNoWriMo
My first ever play, a short ghost story about a Syrian boy being rescued by two First World War soldiers, was performed by actors from Jim Jam Arts for the Folkestone’s Living Advent Calendar at the Harbour Arm http://folkestonelivingadventcalendar.org.uk/10-dec-2016.html
This year, I was very lucky to be commissioned by Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre to write a 20 minute play set in Dover for the theatre’s Return of the Unknown project about the First World War. I’ve been working with some fantastic children from Dover Military School and local actors and the play is set to be performed in November.
For what seems like forever, I’ve been re-drafting an historical novel set in Brazil in the late 19th century. It tells the story of a young English engineer fleeing for his life from a corrupt, slave-using British-owned gold mine and ends up working on an Amazonian rubber plantation only to uncover the terrible torture and killings suffered by the Indian men, women and children forced to collect rubber.
The book is inspired by several visits to the area and reading lots of stories and documents from the era, including the bizarre attempt to build a railway line through the jungle which caused the deaths of around 3,000 people from all over the world. It’s also been inspired by people like Roger Casement and a young American engineer called Walter Ernest Hadenburg, who I understand was instrumental in exposing the groves of torture on British-backed ‘plantations’ described in Casement’s diaries.
Casement was sent out by the British Government to investigate the atrocities against the Indians where he met Hadenburg, who later wrote a book called The Putumayo: the devil’s paradise. It’s a brutal period of slavery mostly overlooked by history books.