Chichester author Christopher Joyce marks the publication of his third Creatures of Chichester book by offering Observer readers the chance to win a copy.
Christopher – the pen name of Chris Casburn – is offering ten copies for readers to win. The book The One About The Curious Cloud is the latest happy chapter to flow from a dream Christopher had while on holiday off the coast of Africa a few years ago.
“I had a dream that I had written a book and people were congratulating me on the book and I was receiving awards and all sorts of things that haven’t happened yet! I woke up and told my partner I had had this strange dream I had written a book about the animals of Chichester.”
Christopher believes it was possibly unconsciously inspired by talk of the Chichester Cathedral falcons; having had the dream, he started to consider turning it into reality: “I was starting to think what characters the falcons would have, and I started thinking they would be a bit like Posh and Becks. Because of where they were, I gave them the names Pulpit and Crypt, and they have appeared in all three books now.
“I sat around the pool on holiday and thought what other creatures there could be, and I came up with two dogs from the butcher’s Penfold. I thought one would be very timid and the other would be much more tough and streetwise. I called them Streak and Knuckles.”
And so not just a book, but a series started to take shape. Christopher has six in mind; he has now self-published three and will be looking to approach publishers/agents on the back of their success so far.
In the latest, as a royal prince takes his first breath, strange things happen to the Twolegs (humans) of Chichester. It’s something to do with the swirling purple cloud that has suddenly appeared above the cathedral.
A little deaf girl and her pet rabbit, Plectrum, have no idea about the danger they are in – or how their lives will change forever.
Once again, Button and Stitchley, the intrepid spiders from North Street, call on the creatures of Chichester to solve the mystery as they battle with the starving foxes howling in the night.
The inspiration was the gas cloud – or smell of gas – which caused a degree of anxiety in Chichester last summer, the result of a ship emptying its tanks in the Channel.
The book will sell at £5 from Amazon and can be ordered from book stores. Age range seven and up. See www.creaturesofchichester.com
For a chance to win a copy, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org giving your name, address and day-time phone number and putting Creatures in the subject line.
Or write to Creatures competition, c/o Phil Hewitt, Chichester Observer, Unicorn House, Eastgate Square, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1JN. Entries to be received by midnight on October 16.