The Flames of Times
This is my first novel, and the first part of a three book series of the same name. In total the series will include the following titles with approximate publication dates:

– The Flames of Time – available from Oct/Nov 2015
– The Embers of Times – Available for pre-order from August 2016
– The Ashes of Time – Available for pre-order from August 2016

As my first novel this book and series has a great many inspirations, but if I were to pick one book that so appealed to my sense of what an exciting, enthralling, stimulating, thrilling and mysterious story should be then it would be She.

She (DVD)
Starring – Ursula Andress & Peter Cushing
Let me start with the classic Hammer Horror film. While I’ve seen this film several times since, and will watch it time and again in the future. This is where it started for me as a chance encounter one wintry day over a Christmas break from University while visiting my parents.

I stumbled across this film one afternoon while the rest of the household were out and about bustling around over Christmas preparations, and was hooked within the first five minutes. I had no idea where the story was going, or that the film was even based upon a book, but I sat there mesmerised as the strange coincidences that make up the start of the story gradually start to build in the early stages of the story until the huge and terrible scope of the story are revealed.

I think another viewing must surely be in order.

By – H. Rider Haggard
As wonderful and fantastic as the Hammer film version of this book is, like many film adaptations it is still a pale shadow of the wonders contained within the original book.

While Ayesha or She Who Must Be Obeyed is wonderfully portrayed by Ursula Andress in the film, the same character in the book is both beautiful and terrible in her portrayal as an ageless and impossibly powerful individual who has delved into many of the great mysteries of universe and returned with answers and abilities almost incomprehensible to imagine.

There are also scenes in this book that would be at home within a psychological horror story, and which I hope are never made into a film. But more than anything else, and despite the terror that often walks in Ayesha’s shadow in this book, it is this book version far more than the film which in me elicits a genuine sympathy for Ayesha in the same breath that it elicits respect and fear.

In more general terms, I think it was possibly She who made me realise that fiction could not only be used to entertain and enthral readers, it could also be used to make them think, and furthermore, just as the implications of human longevity forms a central part in the story of She, it is no coincidence that I also take up this theme in my own writing, albeit in a more modern context that’s more sympathetic to our own modern age.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom

Travels in the White Man’s Grave

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

The Three Musketeers

The Count of Monte Christo

The Martian Chronicles

The Wind in the Willows

The Lord of the Rings