Search This Blog

Sunday 20 September 2015

Weird Wessex

The latest book to feature my name on the cover is a collaboration with Paul Jackson of the
Random Encounters with the Unusual blog. It’s called Weird Wessex: A Tourist Guide to 100 Strange and Unusual Sights. Here is the blurb:
At its height, the Saxon kingdom of Wessex sprawled across Southern England, encompassing Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and parts of Devon and Berkshire. Even before the Saxons arrived the area had a reputation as a weird place, with Stonehenge and its Druids, Glastonbury and the Holy Grail, the bizarre chalk figure of the Cerne Giant and the reputed location of King Arthur’s Camelot. In more recent times the tradition of weirdness has continued, with flying saucers sighted over Warminster, intricate Crop Circles popping up around Alton Barnes and hordes of spaced-out hippies converging on the mystical hubs of Glastonbury and Totnes.

This book is a tourist guide with a difference. It describes 100 of the weirdest sights in Wessex, ranging from world-famous places like Glastonbury and Stonehenge to hidden oddities that may even surprise the locals. Divided into ten thematic chapters, it is lavishly illustrated with over 200 full-colour photographs.
The ten chapters, each featuring ten sites, are arranged thematically as follows:
  • Weird Archaeology
  • Weird Buildings
  • Weird Constructions
  • Weird History
  • Weird Landscape
  • Weird Legends
  • Weird Religion
  • Weird Science
  • Weird Secrets
  • Weird Tales
In terms of content, the book is pretty close to a 50:50 collaboration. Paul lives towards the eastern end of the area, on the border of Wiltshire and Hampshire, while I live further west near the Somerset-Dorset border. So it was quite easy to divide the legwork between the two of us!

The book is published by Jon Downes at CFZ Publishing, under the Fortean Words imprint (although most of the sites are “quirky” rather than out-and-out Fortean). The book is in full colour, 200 pages long, with an average of one photograph per page. I’m amazed, and very pleased, that Jon has managed to keep the cover price down to £12.50 (it would have been more like £18 if we’d used CreateSpace).

There are several ways you can get hold of your copy of Weird Wessex:
  • You can buy it from Amazon UK (or any other Amazon site). The book is print-on-demand, so don’t worry if Amazon says “out of stock”. As soon as you order it, the printer will run a copy off for you.
  • You should also be able to order the paperback through any other book retailer – the ISBN is 978-1-909488-35-9.
  • The book is available in a Kindle edition, though unfortunately not in any other ebook format.
  • In the near future (probably about a week from now) the CFZ website will be running a special offer on Weird Wessex. If you order the book direct from the publisher it will cost just £10 plus p&p, and include a bookplate signed by both authors (wow!)
  • People in the local area who cross paths with either of the authors can order a copy direct from us. We will be happy to sign it for you, and may even offer a discount (depending how generous we’re feeling).

No comments: