Out now! Special 20th Anniversary Edition, with a new short story featuring the witch, Dragwena, Morpeth and many of your favourite characters.

Out now! The Special Edition, including a new story featuring the witch, Dragwena.

December update

Fred, the bulldog.  Illustrated by Trish Phillips
Fred, the bulldog. Illustrated by Trish Phillips

OK, it’s been several months since I offered an update. Apologies. A lot on the non-writerly front has been going on, as they say. But I just thought I’d let you know that I’ve written another novel recently. I put aside my big dark fantasy epic, Dragonbone Gate, for another day and had a big change of heart about what I wanted to write about next. I started penning a new ghost story – then stopped. I wasn’t enjoying it. It took a while to realise that I wanted to be in a lighter head-space than before. I wanted jokes and maybe a little sentimentality as well.


My wife had always said to me, ‘Why don't you write a nice story about some dogs stuck in a rescue centre.’


I always brushed it aside as the kind of story someone else might write, but when she died I changed my mind. Not immediately. But from nowhere THE NO-HOPERS almost wrote itself. It’s been the most enjoyable experience I’ve had for years. Four dogs, all with classic problems, spend every moment of their day in a kennel. Nobody wants them. Will they ever get out? And for those of you who think, ‘Where’s the McNish darkness gone?’ there's a thread of it in there. A Staffordshire bull terrier with a dark fighting past. But the rest of the story is unashamedly more heartfelt and humorous, and aimed at my original age-group of 8-12 rather than teens, too.


I’d like to think this one can be illustrated, and I’ve met Trish Phillips, a wonderful illustrator who’s sketched this little pic of one of the main characters. Fred the bulldog. A sad old fella who just turns away when anyone comes to visit the dog’s home. He’s lost all hope ...he’s a grouchy, sarcastic mutt as well. Hates puppies.


I’m sending the first draft of THE NO-HOPERS to my publisher, Orion, and they’re looking to read it over Xmas 2012 period. I hope they like it, because the next book I want to write is in a similar vein.


Apart from that I’ve been generally doing less than I should have done.


Ciao for now and be good to each other.