John Alex Taylor

Apples in the Dark is now published in paperback by Troubador, and here it is, in the window of Book-ish Abergavenny branch.

I’ll be signing copies there on 20th July from 1pm. Look out for news on my Facebook Author Page, John Alex Taylor – Author 

Book-ish Window

Elsewhere in the UK, you can order Apples in the Dark from your local bookshop, and I beg you to do this rather than go to the big “A” because bookshops need our support.

Overseas customers will find that many British bookshops have excellent delivery services. I recommend Blackwell’s of Oxford for this – they are already sending a copy to Australia!

Alternatively, you can buy it direct from the Troubador website.

Now for another taste of the book. Not every character in Apples in the Dark is a living human being. To give you a flavour, here is the child Alice with the other narrator of the story, scientist Rachel, standing in front of Gwen John’s portrait ‘Girl in Profile’ in Cardiff National Museum.

Girl in Profile might just have given us a glance. Rachel stood in front of her, looking at something I couldn’t see on the wall above the painting. And her face went peaceful, as if she had no worries in the world.

Mam called her across the gallery to see Jacob Epstein’s wild sculpture of the head of Augustus John – bad timing – Rachel was in the middle of something. I gave Girl in Profile a smile and said sorry. And she looked sad.

When Rachel came back, I said Girl in Profile was sad to see her turn away.

She looked at that spot on the wall above the painting again. ‘I didn’t mean to go so suddenly, Mathilde.’

So… Rachel knew her name. Mathilde?

Rachel was smiling with the painting, and I didn’t want to disturb them.

I waited for a while and then whispered, ‘How do you know her name?’

Rachel looked a bit shaken. ‘I… I haven’t a clue. It’s… as if I’d glanced at you and registered “Alice” as your name. As if I already knew Mathilde.’

‘I guess so – I knew she was sad. Maybe she’s happy you know her name.’ I did the looking not-quite-at Mathilde, just like Rachel had done. And I whispered, ‘Hello, I’m Alice.’

I know. I’ve known you for a long time.

Mathilde is an important character in all three books in the series, sometimes meeting them at home or beside Rachel’s apple tree. But as to what manner of being she is… you’ll have to decide for yourself!

 

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