My mind has always preferred to be elsewhere than the here and now and as a child it was the past, or fiction set in worlds that have never existed, that set me alight and dragged me into libraries and bookshops. Even as a kid I liked creating alternative worlds. My story Terre Nouvelle is set in a world I created in my teenage bedroom to find escape from the grimness of adolescent reality. But creating stories is not the same as generating places in which they might happen, and the creative energy they're drawn from come from deep within. It's from my gayness that I draw it, and so my characters generally live in that alternative place as well as in alternative worlds.
Henry Atwood meets the greatest adventure of his life, for the End-Time is come. Something sinister has entered into this reality, a thing of terrifying deceit which wants to be Prince of the World. But Enoch and Elijah rise to stand by Henry's side, and in the World Beyond a prophecy once made to the Destroyer by the Lady Fenice has fallen due.
It is the year 1690 and Europe is at war. In the East the Great Turkish War still rumbles on and in the West the Empire is barely holding off the hostile Christian power of Louis XIV's France. In the middle are the divided Rothenian lands, its two rival realms in uneasy peace. Through all this human conflict young Sergius von Tarlenheim seeks to make a career at the Ruritanian court, where he finds unexpected friends and mysterious enemies. But unknown to him greater conflicts by far are beginning in the World Beyond, where notice is being taken of the changing nature of humankind and rival factions are forming in response.
The Peacher empire needs Justin Peacher-White and he rises to the challenge. But it means moving job, partner and child to the Rothenian capital, Strelzen. It goes off better than he has a right to expect, but what he doesn’t realise is that an implacable enemy is on his trail, and the very existence of Rothenia is in the balance. Fortunately he has unlikely allies in the shape of two way-out monks and a fifteenth-century countess.
Rothenia celebrates as Svetlana wins the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv, for that means the Greatest Show on Earth will come to Strelzen in all its camp glory in 2005. The possibilities for Strelsenermedia IPC are not lost on Will Vincent and his team. But the Song Contest will come to a divided city, and caught up in the politics are Yuli Lucic, son of the Staroman of Strelzen, and Henry Atwood, who can never let a story go, whatever the distractions.
Justin Peacher-White has it all, a partner, lifestyle and job to die for. But as a street kid he put it about a bit, and now finds he has a small son. Justin determines on finding the boy, and is far more successful than he and Nathan are quite ready to cope with. For Damien Macavoy is no ordinary child.
Henry has made it to university, but without Ed. Instead he finds himself in a first-year house share in Cranwell with Eddie Peacher, Andy’s problem brother, and the nervous Gavin. Between them, they find themselves combating the appalling Frank Hutchinson, landlord of the King's Cross, and unearth a mystery of the ages, to solve which is death.
Henry Atwood is still in the sixth form of Medwardine school. He is intrigued by new arrival, Rudi Burlesdon, red-headed, sullen and alienated. Henry likes to help, but once again gets way out of his depth, for in Rothenia a new spirit is rising and Rudi is not the boy he appears to be.
Vicar’s son, Henry Robert Atwood, has been landed in a public school in Shropshire and hates every moment of it, especially compulsory sports. But he attracts the attention of two boys, who between them will change his life for ever. One, Ed Cornish, is every gay boy’s dream. The other - another vicar’s son, Jehoiadah, handsome, seductive and, unfortunately, dead - is every boy’s nightmare.
Nathan Underwood is an upper middle class boy who loves gardening, it’s his life’s work, but in the flower beds of Matt and Andy’s Highgate home, he encounters Justin Macavoy, street kid and petty criminal on day release. The shock of it means that neither boy will be the same ever again.
Will Vincent, schoolteacher, exits the closet and finds it leads him to very strange places, for almost out of the door he encounters the beautiful Oskar, cynic and porn star, who is not at all what he seems.
Ruprecht von Aalst, noble dilettante, diplomat and scholar, blunders into a political minefield: but is it an accident or someone else's design? More and more he comes to believe he's a prisoner of the past he studies, and that forces from his world's own lost history are breaking through into the present to steer it into a new future, but for whose benefit?