New book by Fermanagh-based author completes children’s fantasy trilogy

CHILDREN’S author Kevin J. Adcock has recently launched his latest book, entitled ‘Cometh The Witch’, which follows his previous books, ‘Adventures With Sir Maxwell’, and ‘By Jove!!!’, thus completing his first trilogy.

Born in Nottinghamshire, Kevin has recently relocated to County Fermanagh where he now resides in Ballinamallard.

He has been married for more than 45 years and has one son, who, as he explains below, was the incentive for his writing.

Calling himself “an accidental author,” Kevin spoke to The Impartial Reporter about how his books materialized.

He said: “Some 39 years ago, when my son was born, I got on to the idea that it would be nice to do him a keepsake. I was kicking the idea around for a while but when he got to the age of three or four, I actually wrote a story called ‘Sir Maxwell and the Mustard Dragon’, and from that I thought, ‘One story is not enough – I I’ll write a series of stories.

“So I ended up writing six stories and I called the collection, ‘Adventures With Sir Maxwell’.”

Adventures With Sir Maxwell.

‘No intention’

Explaining that these stories were never meant to be published, Kevin continued: “I had no intention of getting them published, they were just to be a keepsake and as my son grew up, they were put into a drawer.

“A friend of mine who lived near me at the time, a guy called Graham Lowe, he did some illustrations for the first story. I put the illustrations together with the first story, they went into a drawer and basically got forgotten about.

“My son grew up, he went to university and became a graphic designer.”

Around six years ago, at Christmas, Kevin was surprised with a special gift.

“My son and my wife had put their heads together without me knowing and had the first story, complete with some of the illustrations, printed up for me for Christmas, which was fantastic,” said Kevin, noting that they had 20 copies of it printed: “Like an idiot, I left them lying around on the coffee table and when friends came around they started flicking through them, saying, ‘These are really good, you’ve got to get these published’.

“They kept nagging me so I came up with this brilliant idea: I’d send all the stories off to half a dozen publishers, get knocked back, and that would put an end to it!”

However, this was not the case. “That fell flat on its face because I got three offers instead,” Kevin laughed.

“So ‘Adventures With Sir Maxwell’ ended up getting published, and the people who bought it and reviewed it said it was very good and were asking when I was going to write the next one.

“I decided I’d take the wizard out of the fifth story of ‘Adventures With Sir Maxwell’ and make him the hero of the next book. So I did the same format; six stories, one illustration with each, and called it ‘By Jove!!!’, and it basically followed on from where the ‘Adventures With Sir Maxwell’ left off.

By Jove!!!

By Jove!!!

“’By Young!!!’ was then published and not long after, I had a stroke,” said Kevin, noting that he wasn’t able to promote the second book in the same way he had the first one, where he had visited schools and went on book tours.

“It took me a little while to get back on my feet. I lost bits and pieces, but nothing I haven’t got used to and just as I was about to get on it again and hit the road, the pandemic kicked in,” he said.

lock down

However, not to be deflated, Kevin used his time during lockdown to write his third book, ‘Cometh The Witch’.

“So we’d had the daft old knight, we’d had the wizard, so we needed a heroine, someone that girls could really identify with, so I created a really nice feisty witch in the fifth story of the ‘By Jove! !!’ book and I used her as the heroine in the new book, ‘Cometh The Witch’.

“Because of the pandemic and so forth, it’s taken 16 months for it to be published. There were delays at the publishers but now it’s out,” Kevin told this newspaper.

Cometh The Witch.

Cometh The Witch.

‘Cometh The Witch’ tells the tale of Little Green, who is a witch, but “not your ordinary, wearing black, pointy hat, cat-owning witch – she is more of a feisty hippy; green dress, bare feet, blonde-hair with-flower-in-it and no-cat witch, and you mess with her at your peril,” points out the book’s blurb.

‘marauding goblins’

“Armed with only a garden gnome, she fends off marauding goblins. When homeless hillbillies arrive in Brooklands, she’s there to help: racing against bullies in Lord Maxwell’s horseless chariot race… dealing with cruel and wicked witch-finders.

“All this and it’s her birthday too. She really doesn’t want any fuss, so who’s the strange sailor knocking at the door?

“Oh yes, Little Green is certainly a witch and, my word, what a witch! This is going to be magic!”

‘Cometh The Witch’, along with ‘Adventures With Sir Maxwell’ and ‘By Jove!!!’, is now available via Austin Macauley Publishers, Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble and all major booksellers.

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