Grimsdon: A world of floods, fiends and flying machines.

On August 2nd my latest book was finally released. It has taken me about two years to write this one, with lots of interruptions in between….I wrote it because of my frustration at governments all around the world who were generally doing very little to tackle climate change. I thought what if there was a big city like London, but in this case it was called Grimsdon, and it had a river running passed it to the sea. What if scientists had been telling the government that the barriers that stood between the ocean and the city would one day not be enough to hold back rising seas and king tides and water stirred up by increasingly fierce storms. The government however refused to listen to the scientists and, as a result, one day the barriers couldn’t hold back the water and the city of Grimsdon floods.

Grimsdon now lies  in ruins. Most people were saved, some were lost and others were left behind. Isabella and her best friend Griffin live with three young kids in an opulent mansion, surviving with the help of Griffin’s brilliant inventions and Isabella’s fighting skills. But will that be enough to combat the threat of powerful sneaker waves, unscrupulous bounty hunters, a ruthless harbour lord and the creeping rumours of a sea monster? And can they trust the mysterious stranger called Xavier Stone who arrives in his flying machine?

I was really keen for this book not to be a grim, disaster novel – there have been a few post-apocalyptic films and stories in the last few years and even though my characters face a world that has changed, there is still a lot to be hopeful about, including the fact that these courageous kids will be our future. There are moments when the kids face kidnappers, where their lives are threatened by collapsing buildings and even where they come face-to-face with sea monsters, but they always come through, if not at times a little soggy and bruised, but the main reasons they survive is because they have each other, they act courageously, even when they are scared, and they stick to what they truly believe is important.

Grimsdon is the first book I have written, though, where the kids are not only on their own, but the adults who are around, are out to get them and use them for their own gains. This book then has called on my characters to be at their most creative, inventive and resourceful for their own survival. The kids left behind have no electricity, no computers, no iphones, no hot water for baths or cooking, no shops to buy food and warm clothes. They have to reinvent a way of living in a cold and watery world. They find a solid house to live in, scavenge seeds from nearby houses to create a rooftop greenhouse, they use the tidal waters to create energy to power lights and create heat and a flying machine to scavenge from houses further from them as food sources run low.

The world is deliberately similar to London. I wanted an older city that had been established a long time ago and was expected to be around for a long time into the future. I wanted to have internationally recognisable icons, but which would now be half-drowned by water. I wanted the impact of what had happened to be greater and setting it in a London-kind of city with Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament hopefully would do that. My main question for readers is, what if you woke tomorrow and everything you knew had changed? Setting this in such a solid, seemingly permanent world centre, with so much history, felt like it would increase the ramifications of that change.


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