I have published two novels, a short story collection and a poetry selection for adults under the name Derek Smith.
A fantasy that begins with Toby in a dungeon, due to be executed for murdering his father, the king. His escape results in a hue and cry, instigated by his stepmother, the Queen. Toby must be caught and executed along with any who assist him.
While on the run, he rescues a peasant, Far, and an aristocratic young woman, Orly, both of whom have had their families slaughtered. Class and passion complicate their relationship as they struggle to escape the marauding soldiers. Exhausted and battered, they find sanctuary in the cavern of a magician. There, Toby is told he must go down to the Underworld, via Hell’s Chimney, to find the truth of his father’s death.
Cadd thinks he’ll spend his life working in the family bakery. Then the King’s soldiers come. The ancient Court Sorceress has foretold that he will escape the siege that tortures their town. Instead, he is captured by the enemy.
A lucky accident saves him from death and sends him on a perilous mission. Plunged into an unfamiliar world, he needs all his resources and the love of a Princess to survive. But that love is based on a lie.
Two Jewish boys picket a mean neighbour to get their ball back; a Bangladeshi man is desperate for a business plan; a black woman is fearful she will lose her job when she loses her childminder; a boy and girl-next-door find love in an air-raid; a middle class woman goes back to the council estate of her childhood; a racist youth and a black boatman are stranded on an island; the mother of a criminal family pins all her hopes on her youngest son.
These simply told tales of East End life speak of pain and despair, survival and hope.
Seaview is a rundown estate, demoralised with no one in work. When Rio’s family mini-market is in trouble, she decides to contact its most famous former resident, Elektra the superstar – now the world’s richest woman – to ask for help. And to everyone’s amazement, Elektra responds, saying she’ll come to Seaview and do a show for them.
The media go mad. Everyone wants a piece of the action. But Rio finds information on Elektra shrouded in mystery. The estate, though, is wildly spending money in expectation of what they will get from her. But what will they get? And why is she really coming?
“Catching Up” is a collection of poems which contemplate a range of concerns; time and space, the hidden meanings in stories, meditations on war and the legacy of our environmental sins.