Tomorrow, February 3rd, sees the long-awaited new book from Robin Jarvis, Dancing Jax, published in the UK by HarperCollins. Robin is the author of the Deptford Mice series, which was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize in 1989.
Here's more information from Amazon:
A brilliant supernatural thriller with a modern twist, and a triumphant return from one of Britain’s best-loved writers.
At the end of a track, on the outskirts of an ordinary coastal town, lies a dilapidated house. Once, a group of amateur ghost hunters spent the night there. Two of them don’t like to speak about the experience. The third can’t speak about it. He went into the basement, you see, and afterwards he screamed so hard and so long he tore his vocal cords.
Now, a group of teenagers have decided to hang out in the old haunted house. Dismissing the fears of the others, their leader Jezza goes down into the basement… and comes back up with a children’s book, full of strange and colourful tales of a playing-card world, a fairytale world, full of Jacks, Queens and Kings, unicorns and wolves.
But the book is no fairytale. Written by Austerly Fellows, a mysterious turn-of-the-century occultist, it just might be the gateway to something terrifying…and awfully final. As the children and teenagers of the town are swept up by its terrible power, swept into its seductive world, something has begun that could usher in hell on earth. Soon, the only people standing in its way are a young boy with a sci-fi obsession, and his dad – an unassuming maths teacher called Martin…
Sounds creepy, right? Robin has also written a short piece for me, on his inspirations for the book. I'm so glad I don't have dreams like these!
The Origin of Dancing Jax
I wish I could take the credit for coming up with the idea of Dancing Jax, but I can’t. On the 29th October 2005 I woke up, with a start, at some early hour (very unusual for me) and rushed into my study to write up the amazing dream I’d just had. It was so real and so frightening, I had to get it down before it faded.
I’d just like to point out that this had never happened to me before and hasn’t happened since and if someone had told me something similar had happened to them before it happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed them. But the dream was so clear and so full of detail that I ended up with two and a half pages of synopsis, including character names and the title of the book itself. My only task then was to actually write it out in full.
That’s where Dancing Jax came from but I’ve absolutely no idea why I dreamt it in the first place.