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Yo Ho Ho Ho!

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ISBN numbers

Paperback:   978-1-4467-2012-7

Digital:      978-1-4467-2013-4

Christmas! Cut-throats! Cribbage??!!??!!

Christmas is coming, but the season of goodwill has bypassed pub landlord Ted Edwards. A critical review in a best-selling travel book adds insult to infamy and threatens to be the final nail in the coffin for Ted's troubled alehouse, where the regular cribbage league contest is the social 'highlight' of every week.

A prophetic premonition leaves Ted with a stark choice; call 'last orders' for the very final time or mend his miserly ways, embrace his hostelry's history, make peace with his family's pirate past, re-capture his lost Christmas spirit and save his beloved bar - prompting a pub 'treasure hunt' like no other...

The story behind the story

Having written The Big One many years ago, I then felt inspired to work on Uncle Prawn, and as soon as I did that, I knew that I wanted it to be a trilogy. The Big One would feature one set of people from 'The Jolly Roger' pub, 'Uncle Prawn' would focus on some different characters, and then the final instalment would be more about the landlord and the pub itself.

My initial idea, which was going to be called 'Sour Grapes', was around a potential take-over of the pub from a French wine company, prompting a road-trip to Europe in order to save the pub. However, I had already done the road trip with The Big One, so I then had second thoughts.

I then read something about how there used to be pirates on one of the islands in the channel just off the coast of Weston-super-Mare, and that planted the seeds of the idea which became the final part of the trilogy.

I had always said that I wanted the trilogy to be three stand-alone stories, but with a loose connection, and I did  prepare the way for the connections early on. There is a scene in The Big One where an Australian author wanders into the bar. In the context of that story, it is a fairly meaningless and irrelevant scene. The scene is repeated, but from the viewpoint of a different character, in Uncle Prawn. The pay-off is that the author is writing a travel book, and it is the publication of this book which prompts the events in Yo Ho Ho Ho.

It has taken a long time to write this book because I really did have a bit of a writer's block when it came to the plot and structure. The big problem I had was this: I wanted this trilogy to have an element of realism. While all the events I have described - think of The Big One and an overgrown man tricycling up the motorway, for example - are extremely unlikely, they could actually happen for real. So the humour, of both  The Big One and Uncle Prawn was, to my mind, somewhat akin to the popular, long-running, British comedy series Last Of The Summer Wine. It's daft, it's silly, it's unlikely, but it could all, technically, happen in the real world. I had thought about a 'dream sequence' of some kind, to refer to the pirates of the past, but then when I came to think about the actual treasure hunt, I found that the nature of that hunt, and where it was going ot have to happen, was just a little too surreal, and could not happen in the real world, which therefore was a betrayal of the tone of the previous two parts of the trilogy.

It did take me a very long time to get over this plot problem, but I did it, in a suitably cheesey, corny, way, which works with my sense of humour and does suit the story. Having finally got my solution, it actually enabled me to be even more surreal than I had feared I might be, which again, ended up feeding into the story nicely. As I was re-proofing The Big One and Uncle Prawn, too (a process which helped me get back into the mindset of the characters to help write the final instalment), I was also able to add in a few more elements to help link the trilogy together. I took a week's holiday from work in August 2023, and wrote the first draft - 81.000 words - from start to finish, once I had overcome my major plot hole, so I have - albeit a lot later than expected - finally been able to complete the trilogy.

Reviews & Feedback

Coming soon, hopefully!

Coming soon, hopefully!

Coming soon, hopefully!

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