New novel Murder and Mr Rochester
My latest murder mystery is now released on Amazon Kindle. It is the first in a series of Nottingham-based mysteries starring the heroine Emma-Jane Austin:
“The last thing a librarian wants to find at her new place of work is a Body in the Library.
But the main thing a fan of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre needs to help her solve the murder is a real-life Mr Rochester…”
New book C S Lewis at Poets’ Corner
I was delighted to be able to contribute to the book celebrating C S Lewis’ inclusion in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. C S Lewis at Poets’ Corner is edited by Peter S Williams and Michael Ward (Wipe & Stock 2016) and has contributions from many Lewis scholars and writers. My own contribution takes the form of participating in a Symposium on Lewis’ influence today and my blog written the day after the memorial service at Westminster abbey.
Article in Woman Alive magazine
Woman Alive magazine published my article on the children’s author Eve Garnett, who beat Tolkien’s The Hobbit to the Carnegie Medal for best children’s book in 1937.
Publication of Women and C S Lewis
This summer has seen the publication in the UK and USA of Women and C S Lewis, edited by Carolyn Curtis and Mary Pomroy Key, published by Lion Hudson. I am pleased to be one of the contributors along with Alister McGrath, Crystal Hurd, Lyle Dorsett, Don King, Crystal Downing, Colin Duriez, David Downing, Andrew Lazo, Malcolm Guite, Holly Ordway, Monika Hilder, Michael Ward, Kathy Keller, Randy Alcorn, and others. We were asked to write on how Lewis related to women, his teaching on the subject, and how he had influenced us. It’s made for a varied and fascinating final work.
The Oxford Visitor Information Centre on Broad Street has been featuring a special display on former Oxford Professor J R R Tolkien this summer. I haven’t been able to see it personally but the publisher of my walking tour guide tells me that they ordered 100 copies of The Oxford of J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis for it especially, twice their normal order. Good news!
Articles in Christian Writer magazine
Winter 2014 and Spring 2015
I was very pleased to be able to write cover articles for both the Winter 2014 and the Spring 2015 issues of the Christian Writer magazine. For the text of the Spring issue article, see my blog for April 2015: ‘C S Lewis on Truth and Originality’.
Narnia Week at Lee Abbey
10-14 November 2014
I had a great week at Lee Abbey, Devon, from 10 – 14th November teaching on ‘The Narnian Christ: How C S Lewis Re-imagined Jesus for Today’. This was my sixth time teaching there!
Film of C S Lewis Symposium at Westminster Abbey Institute
I am delighted with the professionally-made film now available of the C S Lewis Symposium panel discussion from the memorial service celebrations last November at Westminster Abbey. Taking part are William Lane Craig, Peter S Williams, Michael Ramsden, Judith Wolfe, and myself, chaired by Michael Ward. (The lectures on Lewis that preceded this by Alister McGrath and Malcolm Guite are also on YouTube, as Parts 1 and 2. ) The title of the panel discussion is ‘What can 21st Century Apologetics Learn from C S Lewis?’ (as Part 3). Just click on the title in red to go to it: C S Lewis Symposium Panel Discussion
Tolkien weekend at Scargill House
I really enjoyed the chance to speak again on J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, this time at Scargill House in Skipton, Yorkshire. In beautiful countryside with a great group of people and a stunning modern chapel.
C S Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy at Lee Abbey Weekend
29 November to 1 December 2013
I had a great time on my fourth weekend at Lee Abbey in Devon, this time giving talks entitled: ‘Speaking to the Silent Planet: the Gospel in C S Lewis’ Cosmic Trilogy’. Lee Abbey became Lewis’ St Anne’s-on-the-hill for the weekend: there were inflatable planets hanging from the ceiling, people dressed as Ransom and Merlin and other characters from That Hideous Strength, and a Malacandrian banquet featuring luminous food!
C S Lewis Symposium, Westminster Abbey Institute
21 November 2013
I was part of a Symposium at the Westminster Abbey Institute, London, on C S Lewis to mark his inclusion in Poet’s Corner. Also on the panel: Michael Ramsden, Peter Williams, Judith Wolfe, and William Lane Craig, chaired by Michael Ward. This took place next door to the Abbey at St Margaret’s Church, the ‘parish church’ of the Houses of Parliament. In the afternoon were lectures on Lewis by Alister McGrath and Malcolm Guite, then in the evening those of us on the panel had a lively time with an audience of hundreds, answering questions on Lewis’ life and influence. The next day was the memorial service itself at Westminster Abbey which was a very moving occasion (see my post in the blog Archive on the right of this page for November 2013 entitled ‘C S Lewis’ Memorial Service’ for an account and first hand impression of the service, which has already been been extensively Shared on Facebook).
Books in Blackwell’s, Oxford
More Blackwell’s news – I was delighted to see A Murder in Michaelmas in a high profile position in their DISCOVER OXFORD section in the middle of the store, along with favourites such as Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, Dorothy L Sayers’ Gaudy Night, and Carpenter’s The Inklings, as well as in the Crime section.
For much of the summer 2013, Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford featured my Oxford walking tour guide The Oxford of J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis in its main window, along with many other helpful books on Oxford for tourists.
I was also delighted to see my murder mystery A Murder in Michaelmas in the Crime section, on the shelf underneath my heroine Dorothy L Sayers! It was also featured on the special ‘Oxford Novels’ table as you walk in the shop.
Interviewed with G P Taylor on Faith and Writing
9 December 2012
The A Murder in Michaelmas book tour of 2012 was rounded off with an interview and book-signing at the North Light Gallery in Armitage, North Yorkshire, where novelist and now film-maker G P Taylor (Shadowmancer, etc) and myself were interviewed about our Christian faith and writing by Paul Allen, formerly of BBC Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope. Questions covered tough topics such as morality and murder mysteries, the cogency of theism versus the new atheism, inspiration and spiritual gifts, the basis of belief in the ‘spiritual’ or ‘supernatural’, and the status of Christianity in society today.
Tolkien Weekend at Lee Abbey
30 November to 2 December 2012
This was my third time speaking at a weekend at beautiful Lee Abbey in Devon. Previously the subjects had been C S Lewis’ Narnia stories, then a murder mystery weekend with talks on Dorothy L Sayers. Now it was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the first of Peter Jackson’s films about to be released. As always the team at Lee Abbey did a terrific job, decorating the huge victorian house by the sea on The Hobbit theme, dressing up as characters from the book, and giving everyone wonderful food and fellowship. Not everyone gets to tickle a dragon but I did – a giant papier-mache creation lurking over its hoard of treasure in the old stone fireplace! A huge spider appeared later on too!
Book-signing at Trinity College, Bristol
4 November 2012
It was great to be able to return to Trinity College, Bristol, as part of the launch of A Murder in Michaelmas. Having taught Christian Doctrine and Church History there for over seven years, it is always great to go back and connect with old friends and new students. I am very grateful for their support.
Launch of latest novel A Murder in Michaelmas
20 November 2012
The launch of A Murder in Michaelmas on 20 November 2012 at the C S Lewis Society in Oxford was only the first part of a short tour over several weeks in the UK. I spoke and signed books at several groups in Oxford, including Wycliffe Hall, then at a weekend speaking on Tolkien at Lee Abbey in Devon. But the launch itself at the Oxford University C S Lewis Society was special for several reasons: I got to speak on Dorothy L Sayers who is my favourite murder mystery novelist, Walter Hooper (C S Lewis’ friend and secretary) was at the launch and very encouraging, and the novel itself takes place at the university and concerns student societies, so the setting could hardly have been more appropriate! It was a great start to the tour.
Launch of Pig’s Progress
My first novel Pig’s Progress was launched in May 2011 at Trinity College, Bristol, where I was one of the college lecturers at the time. The kitchen staff made a special ‘pig’-themed lunch (Honey Pork, pig-shaped iced biscuits) and I signed books for staff and students alike while others looked at a display of the wonderful artwork for the book by the illustrator Adela Slomski. I was very happy to see a queue stretching the length of the room and to sign 75 books! Since Pig’s Progress is primarily aimed at 9 to 13 year olds it was great that so many were buying the book for their own children or those of family and friends.
Progress of Pig’s Progress Study Guide
My children’s novel Pig’s Progress was published in May 2011 and in it I promised a free study guide. This has yet to appear! But soon I will be launching a special website for the book and I hope to have the study guide as part of that. Hopefully everyone who has read the book is enjoying it as a story regardless. The ‘study guide’ will take the form of a Guest Blog by none other than Professor Piggins, who will interview various characters from the book, like the Catechism Cat and even the Big Wolf himself!