Introducing William Coniston
1. #IndieBookBanter today welcomes William Coniston. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, and the best place for us to find out more.
My home is in West Yorkshire and my novels are scary adventures for children from 8 upwards but all ages enjoy them and I’ve even heard from readers in their seventies. I’ve been writing all my life but mainly boring legal documents and it turns out novels are much more fun. Two so far – ‘M.I.C.E. and the Stone’ (2014-2016) and a sequel ‘M.I.C.E. and the Dragon Worm’ (2017). Ingredients of both are an ancient black stone passed down in a family to two children, enabling them to use telepathy, talk to and befriend some very talented animals and birds, and to fight evil on behalf of a secret organisation called M.I.C.E. (Mammals In Co-operation Everywhere.)
For me the excitement of writing is discovering the characters and plot as I write. There’s only a hazy outline in my mind when I start but luckily there’s a magic keyboard on my old Chromebook that somehow draws narrative and dialogue out of me, presumably down my arms. A strange but exhilarating process. I can write pretty much anywhere as long as there’s either a view of countryside like my home office or of people enjoying life such as in a coffee shop or on the beach.
Click the logo above to find out a little more about William.
2. Briefly tell us about your work in progress, what are you planning next?
Currently I’m writing a third novel in the series: ‘M.I.C.E. and the _______’ – title to be revealed in due course and published in late 2018. As I write this answer the children and their friends are getting into even tighter spots than before and heaven knows if they’ll survive. TIME will tell (clue).
3. What was the most unusual source of inspiration for any of your books?
A steel drain cover in a back alley at Robin Hoods Bay on the North Yorkshire coast! I needed a discreet location for the local headquarters of the M.I.C.E. organisation and beneath the drain cover was perfect. It’s really a keycard operated entrance to a complex underground facility. The novels are set in a village that bears a striking resemblance to Robin Hoods Bay J.
4. Who was your favourite character to write about?
Unless I like characters I can’t write about them, and even the evil ones have their attractions, but I particularly enjoy some of the animals and birds. For instance Dauntless Arvicola – a water vole with a stammer who thinks himself nervous but is really very brave. He has a steamship called S.S. Dauntless. He and his wife Prudence have five lively children, one an adopted Syrian orphan. They live near Leeds canal basin having been driven out of the Yorkshire Dales by what Dauntless calls ‘those b-blasted wild m-mink’ but they hope to return eventually because M.I.C.E. has put otters on the case.
Another favourite character is Wahoola, a feisty female budgie who gained top honours at M.I.C.E. spy school.
5. Finally you are invited on a mission to a New World (unfortunately you cannot take any members of your family, friends or pets). Please tell us:-
a) Your favourite fictional character to accompany you?
Thank goodness our cat can’t come to the new world. Like all cats he is bad and not to be trusted. Cats are always villains in my novels. I’d take Michael Burnham from Star Trek: Discovery with me. She is resourceful and knows a lot about new worlds. [There is no mistake here as Micheal is most definitely female click on the name to find out more].
b) Your favourite book?
Any of Anthony Trollope’s Barchester novels. Preferably the whole lot.
c) Your favourite song?
Respect, sung by Aretha Franklin. Otis Redding wrote it.
d) Your favourite food & drink to take with you (we don’t know what will be available on the New World).
Custard-filled doughnuts (fresh). Shocking, eh?
e) Finally, tell us the one (Yes, that is just ONE) item you cannot live without?
My trusty magic Chromebook. I can’t write without it.
Here is are William’s books with a short description:-
‘M.I.C.E. and the Stone‘
Grandpa gives Olly and Tilly Peterson a mysterious black stone passed to him for safe-keeping many years ago by his own grandfather. It enables them to understand what animals and birds say and to use telepathy.
Soon they are approached for help by representatives of M.I.C.E., an ancient secret organisation. With two friends, a faithful dog and some small but talented creatures, including three mice who are top technologists, the children are pitched into a dangerous struggle against evil enemies from the distant past who will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams of power.
Set in a small seaside village near Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast, everything seems normal on the surface but dark forces are at work beneath…
‘M.I.C.E and the Dragon Worm’
As summer holidays begin on the North Yorkshire coast, a destructive computer worm attacks the country, spreading rapidly round the world and bringing civilisation to a standstill. Where does it come from and why? Governments are baffled.
The ancient secret organisation called M.I.C.E. asks Olly and Tilly to investigate. Soon they, two friends, and a crack team of talented birds and animals are in a race against time to trace and destroy the worm, facing a ruthless enemy and deadly dangers that test them to the limit and beyond.
Half a year earlier, while battling evil foes from the past, Olly and Tilly discovered their special abilities with a mysterious black stone passed down in their family for centuries. Now those abilities are needed more than ever. Of course, this time it’s nothing to do with the past – is it?
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