"..WHAT A NOVEL! AMBITIOUS AND WONDERFULLLY ACHIEVED. A BOOK TO READ AGAIN AND AGAIN ."
MICHAEL MORPURGO, CREATOR OF WARHORSE
"..GOLEN AGE AMSTERDAM, VERSAILLES, VENICE. TRAVEL WITH A UNIQUE COMPANION & BASK IN THE BRILLIANCE.."
MAIL ON SUNDAY
"..AN EPIC TALE OF LOVE, OF COURAGE, OF HOPE.."
LONDON EVENING STANDARD
A DOG TRAVELS THROUGH THE COURTS AND BATTLEFIELDS OF EUROPE - AND THROUGH THE CENTURIES - IN SEARCH OF THE MASTER WHO GRANTED HIM IMMORTALITY.
HIS VOYAGE TAKES HIM THROUGH THE LONDON FROST FAIR, THE STRANGE COURT OF CHARLES I, THE WAR OF SPANISH SUCCESSION, GOLDEN AGE AMSTERDAM, THE KILLING FIELDS OF WATERLOO AND TO NINETEENTH-CENTURY VENICE. AS HE CROSSES THE CONTINENT, HE BEFRIENDS BOTH HUMANS AND ANIMALS, FALLS IN LOVE (ONLY ONCE) , MARVELS AT MAN'S ABILITY TO MAKE ART AND MUSIC, DESPAIRS AT THEIR CAPACITY FOR SELF-DESTRUCTION- AND GAINS INSIGHT INTO BOTH THE STRENGTH AND FRAILITY OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT.
AS EUROPE COLLAPSES INTO ITS WORST EVER WAR, HE MUST RISK EVERYTHING ONE FINAL TIME - OR LOSE HIS MASTER FOREVER.
the story so far...
MY NOVELS HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED INTO TWENTY-SEVEN LANGUAGES AND PUBLISHED IN OVER FORTY COUNTRUES. TOMORROW IS MY FIRST BOOK FOR ADULTS.
THE NICE PEOPLE AT HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHED IN AMERICA IN MARCH 2018, WHIST IN THE UK THOSE AT PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE RELEASED IT IN MAY LAST YEAR.
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
praise for tomorrow
"..Ornate, vivid and deeply coloured, the story of a dog crossing continents and centuries in search of the man he loves is moving and tender. I was captivated from the start..."
author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
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 TOMORROW.
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...
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...!
''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.
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. .
FROM TOMORROW, CHAPTER SIX: THE VIGIL
"...It’s extraordinary how whole decades can pass, how one hour can turn like a hundred years and a hundred years like one hour. To begin with, I never strayed from the steps. I camped wherever I could find shelter, against the walls of the customs house, beneath the windows of the church or on empty gondolas – anywhere as long as I had a view of the front of the church. ‘If we lose one another, my champion,' - those were his last words to me- 'wait for me on the steps. Just here, by the door.'
In those first years, I dreaded winter, the first chimneys lit, before the chill set in, making the canals smoke and cobblestones sweat with frost. And then, in the bitter weeks, in the darkest vale of the season, humans would put on masks, and flap through the city like giant insects, congregating behind quickly closing doors, as orchestras struck up in unseen halls. In those weeks, however tightly I curled up to sleep, the flagstones stayed cold beneath me.
He never came. I never saw him, smelt him. I never felt him.
Times changed, and fashions too: the age of powder and panniers, of elaborate headdresses and white wigs. Sometimes I’d wake up, puzzled and headachy, and forget which era I was in. In my mind, I’d slipped back
to a past time, half a century ago or more, when smells were different, softer, harsher, coarser, gentler, an age when men wore wide ruffs or short boots or lace collars, and drank mead, eau-de-vie, juniper gin.
I turned my nose to every shoe and boot that passed, thousands upon thousands of them, the dull and banal odours of other humans. He reappeared with every tenth beat of my heart. And lurking beyond him, always, in the dark architecture of my mind, was Vilder, the man who had tried to kill me. The monster – I was sure – who had stolen my beloved.
Such was my vigil. Over the decades I would make new companions: soldiers, dukes, gondoliers, marble-cutters. But they would die, all of them, from disease, or old age. And I’d become friends with dogs – street dogs, house dogs, palazzo dogs – and they’d perish too. A person who keeps dogs will lose many in their lifetime. I was a dog who lost people. Time took from me everyone and everything I’d fallen in love with.
But I was sure, in the very core of me, that one day my true master would return. For if I was still alive, surely so was he."