Although I did not come to live in
1971, my earliest memories of this green and pleasant land date back as far as
the autumn/winter of 1963. I have been
in love with the English countryside ever since, and it is a love affair which
is consummated every time that I leave my little house deep in the heart of
rural North Devon. It is a love affair
which is completely requited, and which has given me immense happiness over the
past half-century. England
The late Malcolm Saville, a children’s author whose reputation is nowhere as near as high as I believe that it ought to be in these degenerate times, once said that – and I paraphrase – the reason why he set so many of the his novels for children and young people in wild and beautiful parts of the British Isles, was to encourage his readers to visit places that he loved. In a funny sort of way, I am now in a position of being able to do the same thing (well sort of).
Many of the novels in our Fortean Fiction range, most notably those by Tabitca Cope and Di Francis, are set in spectacularly beautiful parts of our islands, and it is with great pleasure that they have taken a figurative leaf out of Malcolm Saville’s books. These novels are illustrated with general landscape views of the areas described in the book, and I hope that the mixture of the author’s skill and the photography of Dave Curtis (Dark Wear), my lovely wife Corinna (Death on Dartmoor) and yours truly (Dark Ness), will encourage the more adventurous reader to seek out and enjoy these beautiful landscapes for themselves.
This is a practice with which I intend to carry on for as long as possible. As a society we are becoming more and more divorced from the reality of the natural world and it is one of the most important parts of the CFZ Publishing Group to try, in our own little way, to help redress this balance.