Tag Archives: Node 2

Node 3 – Crossing the Line

Having established that all the Nodes in the Dereham Connections have some linkage to Dereham, how are they connected?

Well, I can’t tell you too much without giving several games away. While all the books are designed to stand alone, inevitably, things happen in the books that will affect other books.

Still, Node 3 is called Crossing the Line. In Crossing the Line, several lines are crossed. Spies spy on people they really shouldn’t, agencies operate where they’re not allowed and chase information fruitlessly. An agent falls in love with the sister of the woman he was watching. Security services work with terrorists. A bad man becomes much worse. And all because Peta Shepherd might finally have discovered something and told nobody except Archibald Franklin Conn. Everybody is searching for information. Many people are searching for Archie, for various reasons. All Archie is searching for is an easy life.

Set in London, South Wales and Reading, in late 1972 and early 1973, Crossing the Line is the book that has least to do with Dereham. And yet the events in Dereham, described in Sorrow Mystica, are the impetus for the drama in Crossing the Line. And the man who Archie becomes in Crossing the Line reverberates through the connections and has consequences in 1976, in Node 5.

After the vague sci-fi feel of Sorrow Mystica, Crossing the Line crosses into the spy and thriller genres. There are no aliens or spaceships, no skywatchers or paranormal mysteries. But the aliens we meet in Sorrow Mystica, and their channel, Peta Shepherd, provide the McGuffin that propels Crossing the Line.

Crossing the Line should be available early in the new year.

Why Connections, and Why Nodes?

The perspicacious among you might have noticed the subtitle to Sorrow MysticaDereham Connections: Node 2 — and wondered what that was all about…

Well, the novels so far written are all connected in some way. They are a series, a chronicle, or what have you. Informally, they were known for some time as The Dereham Chronicles; but that implied they were all set in the imaginary Dereham — that they were a chronicle of the town. However, the series is not so much about Dereham, as about people whose lives intersect and are in some way influenced by events in the town. (Although, if the books also lead you to want to move to Dereham, I’ll have done my job.)

Still, I wanted to give notice that the novels are connected in some way. I thought an overall title like A Dance to the Music of Time might work. But then I thought something like that might be a bit too… precious… for some scifi-spy-thriller-paranormal-romance-based novels; such a “series” title might make the books appear as, “that is to say, literature”, as Henry Miller once wrote. And the fact that at least one of the books is not set in Dereham bugged me. And then one day I concluded that the books were about the connections
between the characters in them; it was the connections that were important. And that’s how Dereham Connections came to be.

And then I saw each novel as a coming together, a meeting point, of the strands and webs of the lives I was weaving, where the connections created a knot, a tangle of wires — a node. And that was how each book came to be called a Node. So why is the first book Node: 2? Because there is no Node 1. Not yet, at any rate. All the Nodes are ordered by when they are set – starting in 1971 for Node 2, and ending in 1984 for Node 6. But they might yet be published in a different order; expect the unexpected.

Anyway, here are the nodes that we — co-author Kevin and I — know for sure will be published over the next year or so:

Node 2          Sorrow Mystica                                                    
Node 3          Crossing the Line
Node 3.5       Genial — Being the Tale of the Courtship of Simon and Julie
Node 4          Raven of Dispersion
Node 5          The Ethical Hitman
Node 6          German Overalls

Only Node 6 remains unwritten — but I know what it’s about. There are notes. And it has to be written. Nodes 2 and 3 are co-written with Kevin. Nodes 3.5 through 6 are written solely by me.

There are other nodes in the pipeline, but they remain a little vague (and depend on my co-author)…

Sorrow Mystica

So, finally, the first book in the Dereham Connections sequence — or chronicles, or volumes, or loosely-connected series, however we might think of it — has been published.

Titled Sorrow Mystica, it is set in the early 1970s in London and Wiltshire (yes, in the imaginary town of Dereham that provides the name for this blog), and also in 1950s California and at some unknown point on the planet Panlyrae.

So, what is it about? The blurb is thus:

Gang member turned hippie Len Stone searched for enlightenment and experience. He’d tried it all – gurus and mysticism, journeys to the East, drugs and religion. But then, on a grubby bookstall in the cold streets of London, Stone chanced upon Panlyrae: A Message for Mankind, the story of Ed Freeman and his contact with aliens.

Intrigued by Freeman’s story, he hoped he too could learn the secrets of the universe through interaction with benevolent aliens. And then, in the nightclub he managed, he met a young woman, a runaway, and thought he’d found at last his soror mystica, his mystical sister. Together, they began to explore alien worlds.

When Stone employed a handsome bruiser to mind the doors, however, he let trouble in rather than keeping it out.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the planet Panlyrae look on, unable to intervene, yet deeply and obsessively fascinated by the planet they appear to have discovered.

Spanning continents, decades and worlds, Sorrow Mystica is a tale of alien contact, intrigue, mirage men, espionage, and death. It is also an exploration of narrative, fiction and truth.

If Sorrow Mystica is the first in a loosely-connected series, you might wonder about later books. Have they been written? How many are there? How do they connect?

Well, yes, all but two have been written. There are six, possibly seven books in the series. If one of them doesn’t get written, it won’t matter to the series. How they connect, though, will be subject of further posts.

Sorrow Mystica front cover

Sorrow Mystica
(Dereham Connections: Node 2.0)
at Amazon UK
at Amazon US