Fact ... Always Stranger Than Fiction
This year I released my first novel, ‘Nightjar’. It’s a fantasy, with more than a hint of dystopia, set in a feudal future and centred upon a Fae’s need to keep alive an immortal love. I was inspired to write the piece by the Iron Age landscape that surrounds where I live.
In Sandy, Bedfordshire, there are hill forts and Roman Roads, low-lying land and an escarpment that rises up over what was once a shallow sea in the very distant past. As with most parts of England, there are woods that evoke memory of the Celts and old Gods that once walked the land. It wasn’t difficult for imagination to take over and write. I chose ‘Nightjar’ as the name for the main character and novel after seeing a picture of the bird online. Although beautiful, it’s not a pretty bird, quite ugly some might say, but interesting; and that’s exactly what I wanted Nightjar to be like when first encountered.
So it was I started writing the novel around Easter, 2017, releasing it after final edits in May 2018. I was now an author with a novel to my name. It’s quite a feeling, and the novel is being well-received by readers. Many say it’s like a fairytale for grownups and I'm more than happy with that. With all the marketing and trying to make people aware of the release, it's less writing now and more of a learning curve for me, and so I thought no more of the choice of name until last week.
Then this happened:
An article in the local press: Biggleswade Today
To summarise, after more than fifty years of absence from the area (something I wasn’t aware of) a breeding pair of Nightjars have settled in the wooded hills of Sandy. Close to the very area I set the novel. To say cold fingers crawled up my spine is an understatement.
I was stunned, coincidence?
But there’s more than a touch of Twilight Zone to it.
Even now I get goose bumps thinking about the strangeness of it. Me, I’m taking it as a good omen for the book, having now been convinced that fact is indeed stranger than fiction.
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Nightjar is released through Amazon and is available in paperbook, as a Kindle eBook, and through Kindle Unlimited.