The Greater Good

The Greater Good is a series of connected novels I first began working on ten years ago. At some point, I realised that to tell the story I wanted (needed?) to share, I had to give myself more time, in order for my writing skills to catch up with the vision and ideas for this story. In short, I was not yet good enough.

Stromness, Orkney: a key setting for The Care Industry

The first book is tentatively entitled The Care Industry. It is the tale of John, who carries a dark past, as he returns to where he grew up in the far north of Scotland, in order to try and move beyond events which have left both physical and mental scars. He works in a retirement home, where a new resident causes quite a stir; Bessie is old, very very old, and perhaps even older than that. There are whispers that she understands things beyond the ken of mortal man, whispers that she may in fact be the only living spae-wife. She Knows things: about the wind, about people, about John, and about what he shall face. And she has answers, if only he can find the right questions and then listen.

This book, the first in a series, is filled with Orcadian folklore and deep myth, with the effects of violence on the individual and on society, with the difficulties inherent in always believing your senses, with despair and hope, loss and love, and, ultimately, what IS the greater good? Also, it features action, adventure, London, nature, scary crypts, and, quite possibly, magic.

Wick, Caithness: The Town at the End of the World

The book which follows this (running contemporaneously), is entitled The Town at the End of the World, and is a love story between a man of our time and a woman who has been dead for long, long years. Part ghost story, part romance, part examination of mental health, place, family, and loss, it is also in need of a polish, but much has already been crafted. It may also include, quite possibly, magic.

Tree Merging With Rock
In Places the Rocks and Trees Merge: nature is a big theme in A Time of Trees, deep past, present, and future also merging.

The third book, A Time of Trees, needs more work, and more research. It is set in the Mesolithic of what is now called Europe, with a framing tale in the here and now. It tells of beginnings, of our ancestral relationship with nature, of shamanism, a not-very-fast-but-still-exciting canoe chase, of murder, of awakenings and meetings and, most definitely, magic. This was actually the first book I started working on.

There are other books planned, with some scenes and chapters sketched and tested but, for now, this should serve as an introduction to The Greater Good. It is my intention to return to this series once the first four tales (plus the four bonus stories) of The Lesser Evil are complete. This is likely to be in 2021 or early 2022.