Questions are dangerous but answers can be deadly.
Callie’s world will be lost to war – unless she can unlock the magic of an ancient manuscript. She and her friends will be sent to the front line. Many of them won’t come back. When a secret order tells her she can bring peace by reading from a book, it seems an easy solution – too easy. Callie soon finds herself hunted, trapped between desperate allies and diabolical enemies. The Order is every bit as ruthless as the paranormal Cadaveri.
Callie can only trust two people – her best friend and her ex-marine bodyguard. And they are on different sides. She must decide: how far will she go to stop a war?
Dare she read this book? What’s the price – and who pays it?
Commended in the Yeovil Prize 2016, this is an action-packed blend of adventure, fantasy and love story.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35148705-the-devil-s-poetry
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XWL4XPJ
Ten random things about The Devil’s Poetry. OK here goes:
1. The club that Callie visits in York was originally on a street called Mickelgate. York is a very old city and it has a huge city wall built for defence in the 13th century. Micklegate originally meant ‘great street’. York has lots of these ‘gates’ – Castlegate, Fossgate, Gillygate. Lots of them. However, the American editor said: ‘Micklegate? Huh? What kind of place is that? Can we call it Micklegate Street?’ Erm… no. No, you can’t. My Yorkshire roots wouldn’t allow it. So the club is now on an entirely fictional road called Peter’s St.
2. The village of Lifley is fictional but it does bear a striking resemblance in places to the market town of Northallerton in which I live. In particular we have the local school on Grammar School Lane. One early reader of TDP sent it back to me saying: ‘Don’t insult your readers. As if any town would have a stupid road name like that!’
3. OK, enough with the roads already. The idea of the book comes from the fact that we all create such different worlds in our heads when we read books. It may be a single novel on paper but it grows new worlds, new faces, new meanings in every reader’s head. In fact I think you probably can’t read the same book twice. You always experience it differently second time around.
4. I picked Jace and Callie’s names by their meanings. Jace means healer. (Think about that if you read TDP.) Callie comes from Cala, which my research at the time suggested meant talent, or ever moving, and I thought that fit. I’ve since found it also means castle or beautiful but, hey ho, she was stuck with Callie by then.
5. The first draft of TDP was written a few years ago. At the time references to race riots in England seemed far-fetched. This year an editor said: ‘Take out those lines about immigration and racism in cities – you’ve obviously just put them in to be topical.’ I hadn’t but I took them out anyway.
6. In Callie’s world, anyone who is 18 is immediately drafted into national service. Again, the concept was already on the page by this point, but a bill went before the UK Parliament to reintroduce National Service for teenagers in 2014. Didn’t pass, but the principle was there. It’s hard to stay ahead of real life in fiction these days. We have to paddle fast.
7. While Callie sees the world in terms of the books she’s read, her best friend Amber is a telly addict. But she has great taste. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight Zone, Zena, MacGyver (the original)… Amber loves cult TV.
8. One of the things I like most about Callie’s and Amber’s relationship is how they completely accept their differences. They don’t have to be the same to love each other dearly. I also love that they never get each other’s cultural references. Straight over their respective heads every time.
9. Callie and Jace drive to a high spot called Arkengarthdale in North Yorkshire. It is a wild place with hardly any people. Two of the little villages that snuggle in there are called Booze and Whaw – we love our colourful names in North Yorkshire. It also has the highest pub in the England.
10. Almost every London site in The Devil’s Poetry is real – even the rooftops bad guys stand on and Canada House where the peace talks take place. I tried to map it really carefully. I lived in London for 17 years and I double checked everything on google maps and with visits. I’m waiting for someone to point out my errors, because it’s inevitable. And when they do, I’ll thank them for reading the book so very carefully. That’s a Reader.
Louise Cole has spent her life reading and writing. And very occasionally gardening. Sometimes she reads as she gardens. She can be seen walking her dogs around North Yorkshire – she’s the one with a couple of cocker spaniels and a Kindle. She read English at Oxford – read being the operative word – and hasn’t stopped reading since.
In her day-job she is an award-winning journalist, a former business magazine editor and director of a media agency. She writes about business but mainly the business of moving things around: transport, logistics, trucks, ships, and people.
Her fiction includes short stories, young adult thrillers, and other stuff which is still cooking.
Her YA and kids’ fiction is represented by Greenhouse Literary Agency and she is also published on Amazon as one of the Marisa Hayworth triumvirate.