Young Girls

Why do so many of my novels feature teenage girls?

After writing several novels, it occurred to me that most of my lead characters were girls of around fourteen. I didn’t just say to myself one day, I think I’ll write a book about a teenage girl, it just happened when I started writing a story. Since I am a long way from being a teenager myself, I started to analyze this tendency, or rather compulsion.

Sometime during this novel writing, I sat down to write a memoir, something to leave for my kids, and I found that when I reached my fifteenth year, I was blocked. I couldn’t go any further, no matter how hard I tried. It was as if I was afraid to enter the dark unknown and open a wound that would  let all my demons out.

All my young girls are somewhat timid, as I was—except Ana Te Puea—and non-aggressive, but capable of being strong and courageous when they need to be. They all abhor cruelty and injustice and they are not natural fighters. They can also endure, or enjoy, solitude.

Life change

Thinking about this later, I realized that fourteen
was the year of a radical change in my life. Derby Cathedral St Mary's Gate
My family left our home in Derbyshire and moved to Eastbourne in the south of England. I lost my friends, my school, my grandma’s country cottage (where I was born), everything that gave my life meaning. After that, I made few friends, none that were close or lasting, and I didn’t stay in one school long enough to have any continuity in my education because my father kept moving from one place to another, changing jobs.

Derby Cathedral from Saint Mary’s Gate


Fictional characters

The first four novels are Speculative Fiction. The final one is Fantasy

Celeste Colbert – Fatal Harvest

Celeste Colbert is a normal high school student when the plague hits. Her life change slowly at first as the death toll continues to rise. One of the first things to go is her school,Fatal front then shops run out of supplies and their little neighborhood community turns to scavenging. She and her surviving school friends form a team that helps provide their families with necessities, the most useful of which are books from the defunct public library. They stock up on every book they can find that will help them learn how to survive.

Eventually, after her grandfather dies and he own father disappears, they move out of the city with  their neighbors and seek a safer place to live. They continue to move farther east up the valley as predatory gangs become more common.

Ana Te Puea Rawiri Dekker – Forbidden World

Ana, the daughter of a Maori biologist and a Dutch physician, is a lanky, rather boisterous Frontcover 2016.girl of fourteen when she and her family arrive at the planet they expect to colonize.  Unfortunately, the planet that the multinational team of colonists reaches is not the one they were aiming for. It is already inhabited by an alien race and the Pacifican Charter forbids settling on occupied planets. But they have no choice; they must land there, or perish. They meet and negotiate with the natives, the Sab-lichi, who reluctantly allow then to settle on an uninhabited island.

The natives are very beautiful but extremely arrogant  humanoids who all appear to be females.  They are far more technically  advanced than the Earth humans, to whom some of their technology seems like magic.

The two races form a shaky relationship, although some of the the Sab-lichi take a liking to Ana, while others abduct her to use her for experiments.

During the next few years, after many adventures and discoveries, Ana develops from an exuberant young girl into a thoughtful, considerate young woman full of life.

Zoe Knightman- At War with Terror

The Kindle edition of this book has been temporarily withdrawn. It should be available again before too long.

Zoe is a young Canadian teenager whose mother had been the directer of the Vancouver Harbors Commission until recently she was replaced by an American bureaucrat. Her father is employed by a communications technology company.Terror front

Canada had recently been occupied by US Security Forces, ostensibly invited by the Canadian Government to deal with terrorist threats. When they come and take her father, accusing him of terrorism, Zoe’s life is shattered. She and her little brother, Michael, are taken with their mother an abandoned psychiatric hospital and held for screening. They will never see their home again, and soon Zoe and Michael lose touch with their mother.

Eventually, Zoe and Michael join the underground. At hideout in the mountains they and their friends plot to find ways to to fight against the brutality of the invaders.

Zoe suffers greatly the next few years, losing her brother and friends, and having her new-born baby forcibly taken from her. The only highlight was being reunited with her mother—who had become a depressive alcoholic—for a while.

This novel also follows the experiences of other men and women who are fighting the same battle in Nicaragua, Britain, and eventually in Europe.

Julia and Catherine – Where Have all the Young Girls Gone?

The Kindle edition of this book has been temporarily withdrawn. It should be available again before too long.

With the decline in the female birth rate, girls are precious, they need to be protected from predators who want to make a profit by kidnapping and selling them to high bidders. These girls, indeed all women, have to be guarded and protected. They are Girls 133575_001always vulnerable and have very little freedom. They can never go out alone. Eventually, they can’t even go to school.

Julia English is one such child.  She is born in 2040 on the one hundredth anniversary of John Lennon’s birth. Her parents were  musicians who were rehearsing the anniversary concert at the time, so they named after his mother.

After she escapes from an abusive husband, Julia finds she is pregnant, and when they discover the baby is a girl, the doctors at the clinic threaten to file a writ of protection of the fetus if she returns to her husband. It is illegal to abort or threaten the safety of a female fetus.

Once Catherine is born, Julia divorces her husband and reluctantly becomes a courtesan which at the time is an honorable and respected career.

Catherine is abducted by members of a fanatical  fundamentalist cult when she is fourteen and suffers years of misery under their restrictive control, eventually being forced to marry the cult leader with whom she has two sons.

Felindra – The Whisperer.

Felindra is thirteen. She lives with her parents and little brother in a small village surrounded by orange orchards where her father, Daryan, makes enchanted swords for special clients.  One day, he comes home and informs his family that they have to leave FrontP1their home and go to live at the Monastery of the League of Light. The duchy of Trethawynd is being threatened by the the Dark Brethren and Daryan is needed to lead the defense.

On the way to the monastery, he and his wife inform their children that both parents are mages and in addition, their father is the Commander of the Defenders of the League of light. The children discover many things they hadn’t known about their family and themselves until then. There is a likelihood that they both would have magic gifts that usually manifest around Felindra’s age.

On this journey, Felindra also discovers she is a whisperer, she can communicate with animals. She bonds with a female wolf after the family has been attacked by a ravening wolf pack, which turns out to have been enchanted by the Dark Brethren.

The pair become inseparable until Felindra is kidnapped by the Dark Brethren, then Ashala the wolf devotes all her time searching for and rescuing her, even crossing a large mountain range.

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