"..HE WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST OF RENAISSANCE ARTISTS. HE REDEFINED WHAT PAINTING COULD DO - BUT HIS LIFE IS SHROUDED IN MYSTERY. WHO WAS GIORGIONE? "
"..ADDICTIVE AMBITIOUS AND KNIFE-SHARP. A COMPELLING THRILLER AND A CELEBRATION OF ART. RAVISHING. "
Rachel Joyce, bestselling author The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
“…IN THESE TIMES, IN THIS GLITTERING, CUTTHROAT WORLD OF VENICE, PAINTERS WILL GO TO ANY LENGTH TO DISCOVER NEW COLOUR - EVEN TO MURDER.”
Besieged by fierce competition and mounting debts, the artist Giorgione 'Zorzo' Barbarelli is close to despair when he hears of a fabled colour – a pigment newly arrived in Venice – that might have the power to change his fate.
In chasing it, Zorzo becomes entangled with Sybille Fugger, the enthralling but complicated wife of its proprietor. He soon finds himself engaged in the fight of his life with rival artists, Michelangelo, Titian and Da Vinci – and caught up in a conspiracy that stretches across Europe.
The Colour Storm is an intoxicating story of art and ambition, love and obsession in RenaissanceVenice - capturing a moment of artistic invention that echoes through the centuries.
"..WHAT A NOVEL. AMBITIOUS AND WONDERFULLY ACHIEVED.."
"..AN EPIC TALE OF LOVE, OF COURAGE, OF HOPE.."
London Evening Standard
"..BASK IN THE BRILLIANCE.."
The Mail on Sunday
"..A STUNNING AND CAPTIVATING TALE.."
"..A STORY OF LOVE AND UNBREAKABLE BONDS.."
New York Post
"..A GRAND SWEEP OF ADVENTURE, WAR AND ROMANCE.."
A WINTER'S NIGHT, VENICE, 1815 - A 217-YEAR OLD DOG IS SEARCHING FOR HIS LOST MASTER.
So begins a story of love and loyalty through the centuries. Like his master, Tomorrow is a being that canot die. Once inseparable, they voyaged across Europe, attending royalty in a dozen courts, healing soldiers on a hundred battlefields, meeting with the greatest minds of the renaissance. Until one day, in watery Venice, his master vanishes without trace.
Broken-hearted, Tomorrow begins a search that will endure for generations. But as the continent collapses into war, he must risk everything to find his master - or lose him forever.
the story so far...
MY NOVELS HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED INTO TWENTY-SEVEN LANGUAGES AND PUBLISHED IN OVER FORTY COUNTRUES.
LIKE TOMORROW, MY NEW NOVEL, THE COLOUR STORM, WILL BE PUBLISHED IN AMERICA BY THE NICE PEOPLE AT HARPERCOLLINS IN SEPTEMBER 2022, WHILST IN THEUK, THOSE AT PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE , WILL RELEASE IT IN JUNE 2022.
I CUT MY TEETH IN THE BOOK WORLD WRITING THE THREE HISTORY KEEPERS NOVELS, AN "INTELLIGENT, QUICK-WITTED" ADVENTURE SERIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS. ABOUT A BOY WHO DISCOVERS HIS PARENTS ARE LOST IN HISTORY AND MUST JOIN A SECRET SERVICE TO TRACK THEM DOWN.
PREVIOUSLY I WORKED AS A SCREENWRITER AND OCCASIONAL ACTOR IN FILMS AS DIVERSE AS THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, PUSS IN BOOTS AND YOUNG INDIANA JONES.
I'M A KEEN EXPLORER, TRAINEE ANIMAL WHISPERER AND INSPIRED BY JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM ARCHEOLOGY TO COSMOLOGY. (HELP YOURSELF TO MORE INFORMATION ON ALL THIS IN MY GALLERY)
BORN IN LONDON AND HAVING GROWN UP IN THE MUSEUMS OF SOUTH KENSINGTON , I'M NOW AMBASSADOR FOR KIDS IN MUSEUMS, AS WELL AS PATRON OF DOGS FOR GOOD
THE HISTORY KEEPERS
'..WE PREDICT EXTREMELY BIG THINGS FOR THIS NEW ADVENTURE SERIES.."
The Mail On Sunday
"..MOVE OVER HARRY POTTER. IT IS TIME FOR JAKE DJONES TO TAKE THE LIMELIGHT.."
"..A TIME TRAVELLING DETECTIVE TALE - EXTRAORDINARY.."
"..THE NEXT BIG THING.."
A Path of Life
Web of Lies
IMAGINE IF YOU LOST YOUR PARENTS - NOT JUST IN PLACE BUT IN TIME
Jake Djones' family have gone missing and they could be anywhere in the world - at any time in history. For the Djoneses belong to THE HISTORY KEEPERS: a secret society which travels through the past to prevent the evil enemies from meddling with history itself.
In the quest to find his folks, Jake is whisked from 21st Century London to 19th century France, the headquarters of the mysterious History Keepers, where he discovers the truth about his family's disappearance - and the diabolical Prince Zeldt's plan to destroy the world as we know it, by first undoing the renaissance.
THE STORM BEGINS, , CIRCUS MAXIMUS, NIGHTSHIP TO CHINA - READ THE EPIC THREE-BOOK SAGA
I ORIGINALLY TRAINED AS AN ARTIST AND SCENIC DESIGNER AND ALWAYS START MY WRITING WITH PICTURES (AS ONE SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS...) MAKING MOOD-BOARDS LIKE THIS ONE I PUT TOGETHER FOR THE COLOUR STORM.
IT ALL STARTS WITH A STORY! THESE ARE SOME OF THE BOOKS - AND FILMS - THAT INSPIRED ME TO SIT DOWN AND BEGIN TO WRITE. OBVIOUSLY THERE ARE HUNDREDS MORE...
SINCE I WAS A BOY, I'VE LOVED BUILDING THINGS. I FIND DESIGNING, CONSTRUCTING & DECORATING VERY THERAPEUTIC - ESPECIALLY AFTER DAYS OF BASHING AWAY AT A COMPUTER. SOMETIMES MY SCHEMES END WITH HAMMERED FINGERS AND SWEARING AT INANIMATE OBJECTS, BUT OCCASIONALLY I GET THINGS RIGHT. I'VE BUILT MOST OF THINGS ON THE LEFT IN ONE FORM OR OTHER: TABLES, LIGHTBOXES OF NEBULAE, BOOKCASES WITH SECRET DOORS, FLOATING HANDS - AND THE WRITING SHED TO END ALL WRITING SHEDS - PICTURED WITHOUT DESK..
I LIVE BETWEEN THE SOUTHBANK OF LONDON AND A COTTAGE ON THE DOWNS OF WEST SUSSEX - SO NO COMPLAINTS THERE!. OUR CORNER OF THE COUNTRY IS LIKE A LAND THAT TIME FORGOT: ALL ANCIENT FORESTS AND SECRET HILLS. WHILST IN THE CITY, THERE'S THE RIVER, THEATRES & GALLERIES, THE BUSTLE, AND THE IMPRINT EVERYWHERE OF THE PAST. SHAKESPEARE AND NEWTON AND WREN TROD THE SAME PATHS OF SOUTHWARK AND YOU CAN SENSE THEM STILL. THE FUTURE HAS A HOLD THERE TOO. YEAR UPON YEAR, EXTRAORDINARY BUILDINGS RISE UP AND THE SKYLINE NEVER STOPS EVOLVING. .
''TO TRAVEL IS TO LIVE' AS A CHARACTER SAYS IN TOMORROW - AND I'VE TAKEN HIS ADVICE. THE BOOK, LIKE MY EARLIER ONES, TAKES PLACE ACROSS MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, AS WELL AS MANY DIFFERENT ERAS IN TIME. IN THE HOPE OF EMULATING TINTIN, A FICTIONAL HERO OF MINE, I'VE SET OFF WITH DUDLEY (MY CALM & PHILOSOPHICAL JACK RUSSEL) ON MANY A TRIP OF RESEARCH AND INVESTIGATION. WE'VE TRAVELLED THROUGHOUT EUROPE AND EVEN LIVED IN VENICE AND ROME FOR A WHILE.
I HAD THE GREAT FORTUNE TO GROW UP IN GLOUCESTER ROAD IN LONDON, JUST AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE GRAND MUSEUMS OF SOUTH KENSINGTON: THE NATURAL HISTORY, SCIENCE AND VICTORIA & ALBERT. THEY WERE A HOME FROM HOME. MY BROTHER AND I VISITED THEM OFTEN SEVERALTIMES A WEEK AND MY INTEREST IN EVERYTHING FROM MINEROLOGY TO DINOSAURS TO QUANTUM PHYSICS TO FURNITURE DESIGN DATES BACK TO THEN.
TO THIS DAY, I BROWSE ONE OF OTHER OF LONDON'S UNRIVALLED LEARNING PALACES AND NEVER SEEM TO RUN OUT OF NEW THINGS TO SEE. EXCITINGLY, THE BOOK LAUNCHES FOR THE FIRST TWO HISTORY KEEPERS BOOKS TOOK PLACE AMONGST THE EXHIBITS OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND I AM A PATRON FOR KIDS IN MUSEUMS, A CHARITY DEVOTED TO GIVING CHILDREN THE SORT OF EXPERIENCE I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE WHEN I WAS YOUNG.
I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT LEARNING AND HAVE VIISITED OVER A HUNDRED SCHOOLS TO GIVE TALKS. I EVEN JOINED A SLEEPOVER AMONGST THE EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGI OF BLOOMSBURY...!
FROM The colour storm, prologue
"...I was your age, as young as you, when I met Zorzo. Your age when I realized what it is we’re all in search of, in one way or another, the subject of every artist’s sigh, the reason we wake up in the morning and escape into dreams at night.”
Hearing this, Domenikos’s mouth slowly turns up in a smile.
“Stepping into his workroom for the first time,” she goes on, “was like finding myself in another country. I knew nothing of how paintings were made—or how colors were conjured: azurite, crimson lake, pink chalcedony, vermilion, realgar, lead yellow, bone black.”
“Yes, yes.” Domenikos nods, his enthusiasm growing. “I was the same.”
“I knew little of the world either, of the shocks that were about to tear through it at the start of this century, when ideas would light up the continent like fires everywhere. When no one knew if those fires would bring light—or burn us all. When painters were so charged with purpose, so voracious, so rebellious against everything that had gone before, that they described the age as a color storm. And I knew nothing of the new color, the great secret, the color that would change my life.”
“Which color is that?”
“One that had never been seen before. Never imagined either. One that men would die for. He was prepared to die. My love. My other soul.”
Domenikos wonders if he heard right. “He was prepared to—?”
A cry goes up from outside, drums start to beat in time and what sounds like a hundred men—the civil guard from the barracks, presumably—begin a march down the hill. As they scour past the
palazzo, feet pounding the frozen ground, the f loor shakes and dust falls from the ceiling. In the chimneypiece, a log tumbles and f lips open the hearth door. A shaft of light is thrown across the room, illuminating the signora at her table.
Now he sees her face. Skin like pale parchment, veined and watermarked, stretched over a tiny skull. She keeps her back straight and neck long, though her body, under layers of black tulle, is as thin as twigs. It is like looking at time itself.
“Prepared to die, yes,” she says. “Some people are. They’re ready to walk into fire, into battle, knowing they’ll not return. They’re willing to do it—so the rest of us can be safe.”
In front of her, the decanter and glass rattle on the tray, the surface of the brandy shivers as the pounding of soldiers’ boots reaches its apogee, before beginning to diminish. Down into the valley they go, in their nightly maneuver to guard their city. Domenikos’s heart quickens. He feels suddenly grateful he came to Rome, beyond doubt that the journey was worthwhile, sure he’s found a kindred spirit. He’s desperate to know more of Giorgione now, of what he made, what he painted, what he risked, that six decades later this woman in front of him is still in awe of it. Domenikos feels a light creaking open inside of him, a shiver of excitement—a sensation he hasn’t had in months. In years, perhaps.
The signora gives a nod and with her knuckle pushes the decanter toward him, and then the spare glass. “Drink.”
Domenikos fills the glass, throws back its contents in one, inhales against the reassuring shock of alcohol and says, “I’m listening. Tell me all about him—all about this color storm.”