As I write this, I am a little more than four weeks into my Masters in Professional Writing at Falmouth University. Until recently, I thought I had continued in education because I needed the structure. That is no longer the case – I am realising that continuing in education has taken me down paths I would never have considered.
By way of example, I had the pleasure of attending a guest lecture by Rupert Wallis last night. His debut novel, The Dark Inside (Simon and Schuster, 2014) made a four hour coach trip to Somerset the most pleasurable experience of recent months.
Echoes of David Almond loom large through the piece, but Wallis has sculpted something remarkable out of the tools at his disposal. I found I initially warmed more to the secondary character, but as I came to understand the dynamic between James (the protagonist) and Webster I experienced a softening of feeling towards the boy.
Seemingly forced into manhood before his time, James writes numbers in a chalkboard and wishes away the days until he can leave his current circumstances behind. Wallis’ brilliance is exemplified in this not quite a man, nor really a boy character. Pathos permeates this tale, but it is by no means a maudlin book.
If you are a fan of contemporary fantasy/YA, I urge you to check this book out. Wallis’ next is out next year…shame I don’t know what it’s called, otherwise I would already be in line.
I’d like to offer my thanks to the staff of the English and Writing department at Falmouth for making this possible, and also Rupert Wallis himself for writing the book I would have wanted to read as a teen.
No promises about the next post…just that there will be one soon.