photo: Sarah Reeve Boredom is the most underrated of the muses. Back in 2019 I was spending a lot of time in the hospitals and nursing homes where my mother kept being incarcerated. Since she wasn’t often in a mood to chat, I entertained myself by starting to write a story in my notebook. It was all written it bits and scraps, a few lines one day and a few the next, but gradually it took on the outlines of a rather gloomy Gothic novel. Heavily inspired by the Cornish coast and by recent visits to Islay and Iceland, it was about a young man who gets summoned back to his family’s ancestral home on a remote island. I didn’t imagine anyone would want to read it, since it was more grown-up than my usual stuff and looked set to be utterly dark and depressing. Then I thought 'utterly dark' would be a good name for a character, so I changed the young man’s name to ‘Dark’ and had him arrive home to discover that he has an unexpected sort-of niece: Utterly, a castaway his late brother
Reviews and ruminations by Philip Reeve, author of the Mortal Engines series, the Railhead trilogy, Here Lies Arthur, Goblins, and The Legend of Kevin, Pugs of the Frozen North, etc, with Sarah McIntyre.