The King of the Cats…and other stories
Posted on January 13, 2016
Using the festive break to write 10 new stories was a great challenge.
As Reader in Residence with The Scottish Book Trust at Falkirk Libraries my next project is to work with Primary 7 ‘reluctant readers’ in beautiful Bo’ness to create a Graphic Novel.
Inspiration came from a trip to Kinneil House last summer and the ever-supportive Falkirk Archive at Callendar House came up trumps with an unexpected photograph. Imagine looking out of the window in the upper floor of Bo’ness Library 97 years ago and seeing 9 German Submarines waiting silently in the water outside, their guns pointing at you. Luckily for the residents they are unarmed, the image is from 1919 when, as part of the Armistice, they were about to be broken up. Falkirk still has a successful recycling industry.
So we now have 10 short stories to illustrate, all set in and around the waters of the British Isles, that focus on the futility of war and the legacy of learning about WW1 for young people today. Weaving together Greek Myth, Scottish folk tales and Grimm’s’ fairy tales with local stories. We started yesterday on board HMS Pathfinder in 1914 weaving in the story of The King of The Cats, finding out how HMS Arethusa got its name and why the Vice Admirals’ ‘splendid cats’ were purring loudly in Rosyth.
Next week my stories take us up to Scapa Flow to hear all about the sheep dogs of the Grand Fleet oh…and a giant Stoor Worm!