A Date With . . . Paul Ian Cross

Loved Frank Parker’s interview with author, Paul Ian Cross.

Frank Parker's author site

My latest author date is with Paul Ian Cross. Paul is originally from Redditch in the English Midlands but now lives in London.

I left Redditch in 1999 to go to university. I was eager to move to a city as I’d been in Redditch all my life, and I was ready for a change! It was nice to move away, but I do enjoy going back there to see my sister, brother-in-law and nephew who still live there. I moved to Nottingham for my studies and later moved to London for work, where I’ve been living ever since. I love London as we always discover something new there, whether it be a café, restaurant, art event or bar. However, the craziness of the capital can sometimes be too much. It’s nice to have a balance, and get away from the city sometimes.”

Paul is a research scientist. His…

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FREE? … Well perhaps a little piece of your soul will suffice…

Aha, seems to be working now. Looking forward to Darkly III

Maxpower's Blog

Last night while you all slept safely in your beds, oblivious to the secrets that lie in wait in the darkness of the night, little did you know that plans were well underway to disturb whatever comfort blanket you use to help you sleep. The true darkness is about to descend once more you see, only this time there will be no place to hide.  Sometimes, there is nothing like a little teaser…Forget the final season of Game of Thrones… Darkly Wood III is coming… Here is a hint of what is to come for the uninitiated and for those who have already strayed into the heart of Darkly Wood…

animated She lay there quite still, with blood slowly oozing from the near bald patch at the side of her head where only moments before, there had been a lush braid of thick, red hair. Pain is very subjective and…

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Kindred and Affinity

Kindred and Affinity large cover  6x9.jpg

A work in progress – a tale of forbidden love. A devout young widower must defy his church and the state to marry the woman he loves and prevent his two children growing up motherless.

In 1891, marrying your dead wife’s sister was forbidden according to the laws of Kindred and Affinity as laid down in the Book of Common Prayer. However, at a time when women frequently died in childbirth or of disease at a young age, and unmarried sisters frequently stepped into the breach to help raise the motherless children, pressure was put on the church and state to allow these marriages of ‘convenience’.

It was a subject that was hotly contested for many years and was a hugely controversial question among Christians in the 19th century. It was argued that such a marriage contravened the clear teaching of Scripture because “husband and wife constituted ‘one flesh’” (Genesis 2.24) and would be incestuous. The opposition argued that allowing marriage with a dead wife’s sister would strengthen the social fabric and legitimise children of these inevitable unions. The reading of banns in church was introduced to try to curb such forbidden irregularities.

In 1907 the law was amended to allow such marriages, though canon law remained unchanged until 1947, and nonconformist opinion remained divided.

In 1890, my great-grandmother, Mary Ellen, died aged 29, leaving two young children. In 1891, Edwin, my great-grandfather, married Annie, his dead wife’s sister. He was a Methodist, his church would have found his action an abomination before God, and he would have been damned to eternal hell. That he moved house and his second marriage took place in a different parish raises interesting questions. Was he trying to hide his incestuous marriage to Annie from the world? Maybe, but I doubt he or Annie hid it from their religious consciences.

This tale seeks to explore the events and relationships leading up to Mary Ellen’s death and the emotional and spiritual turmoil that must have surrounded Edwin’s marriage to Annie. I dare say there will be ‘tears before bedtime’.

With luck and a fair wind, if the typhoid fever epidemic of 1873 doesn’t prove fatal, it will be released in 2019.

Listening to a stranger’s bloody yarn on the road to nowhere…

Where I live, this is known as the Pembrokeshire chat. I’ve had quite a few of them myself, blocking the road until something comes along who’s in more a hurry than the chatters. It is indeed a fine country we live in.

Maxpower's Blog

I met an old man the other day, deep in the heart of the Galway countryside as I travelled across this lovely little Island to a meeting. He was driving a big old Massey Fergusson on a very narrow country road. Now as you do, I squeezed my car as far into the ditch as I could and he considered doing the same, but it was clear there wouldn’t be enough room for him to pass me as he had a wide cutting machine attached to the back of his tractor.

Now I don’t know how this would develop in whatever part of the world you live in, but in the west of Ireland on narrow bohereens, no one is really in that much of a hurry. What should have been a conversation prioritising a solution to our dilemma, turned out to be something entirely different.

zzf00Now Jimmy (that was…

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A Date With. . . Max Power

Although we’ve never met in the flesh, Patrick, I feel I know you. Great interview, Frank.

Frank Parker's author site

My ‘date’ this time is Dublin born author Max Power. In his response to my first question he agrees that his Dublin childhood is an important influence, but goes on to say that it is only part of the story.

“The Jesuit maxim of ‘give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’ is not something I buy into. It’s never too late to change direction. Perhaps the greatest influence in my writing has been the deaths of my mother, my father and my elder brother who died all too young aged 53. I struggled with grief when my mother passed in particular and I know in hindsight that I was damaged by not dealing fully with the loss at the time.

Love, loss and death are central themes in all of my books, I suspect largely because of how my life has developed…

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Another wonderful read by Lesley Hayes

My review of another lovely and heart-pounding read by one of my favourite authors. She writes with an insightful mind and a gentle hand to probe our deepest fears and our greatest joys, carrying you along on a roller-coaster ride of emotion. That wasn’t the review, by the way, I just got a bit carried away.

My review of Dangerous People – Lesley Hayes

Dangerous people

We are more than just Starstuff…

I can empathise with this post on many levels. At least when I accidentally caught my son’s nethers in a zipper, I didn’t call in the neighbours. But I remember that awful thought that the only way out was back… Oh did he yell.

Maxpower's Blog

I broke my first tooth on a blackjack when I was seven and I’ve hated the dentist ever since. Creepy old men with big needles who like to inflict pain on children, that was my early experience.  My most recent venture into the world of dentistry, was a relatively painless affair with a rather pleasant young lady who liked to hum as she worked. My God the world has changed. Women dentists, they’ll be driving buses next! Yeah yeah I’m joking of course so keep your powder dry. Really my experience just goes to show that one’s early experiences can taint you for life, for despite my last few fairly uneventful visits to the dentist, I still get a cold chill down my spine when I even think that I may need to sit in that chair.

wz3It doesn’t apply to everything or indeed everybody, but fears and phobias are…

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