I pulled the camper-van into the parking spot and woke my companion. While he set about making coffee in the snazzy little kitchen, I rummaged in the storage compartment for the tool kit and another sign. We had done well so far, fixing the new signage to their designated posts across the length and breadth of Scotland. We were working our way down, visiting all our old haunts, more even than I could remember… and with England and Wales yet to come, we were having a fabulous trip.
I stood back to assess my handiwork as Stuart joined me, a steaming mug of coffee in each hand. We toasted the sign, feeling yet again the undiminished thrill… I honestly didn’t think it would ever grow stale. It was, after all, a writer’s dream…
And that was the problem, it was a dream… vivid, emotional… and only if the universe were in a very good mood could it be a portent of things to come…
With Beck ‘n’ Call, the eighth book of Don and Wen’s adventures in the landscape just released, it would be nice to think that readers might start to follow the breadcrumb trail left within the pages of these books. Although, that is a tad unfair, as some already do, finding a world of mystery they had never suspected, waiting on the doorstep, like an eager hound, for them to come out to play. Sadly, though, not quite enough to warrant an officially sanctioned ‘Don and Wen Trail’…
Ah well, we can dream… and, while we dream, we have the joy of knowing others are sharing the adventure, both through the books and in their own lives.
Those who read and reviewed The Initiate, the first book in the series, understood what we were getting at. That there is a landscape of wonders just outside the door. It matters very little where you live, or how young or old your culture may be; the earth is ancient regardless of human history or borders. And the land is a storyteller, waiting for those with ears to hear and eyes to see… those with hearts and minds open to what it can teach.
‘Don’ and ‘Wen’ began their journey by following birds. There was a decision made, a trip out to a couple of ancient sacred sites… and what happened there is difficult to describe. Nothing happened…and yet, everything changed. The next day, we wandered out, followed where the red kites led…and the whole landscape around here began to tell its stories. We have never looked back, and we would need a lifetime to even scratch the surface of what we have begun to see.
The books document a real journey in a fictional manner… so they are not exactly novels, although a wider vein of fiction began to creep in with But ‘n’ Ben.
Paul Andruss said of The Initiate, that “it is not plot or character driven, instead it is a revelation – in the true sense of the word. It is to be experienced not dissected.” Another reader said that it has “…the originality, freshness, zest and sheer joie de vivre of some of the much beloved adventure stories of my childhood – an irresistible and all too rare combination.” And that made our day, for that is exactly how it feels when we are out in the landscape.
Gary Vasey tried to find an analogy for his review and came up with, “books like The Zelator and perhaps even The Da Vinci Code, but it is a stretch. The Initiate defies being boxed, labeled or classified and probably rightly so, as it is a work of brilliance.” For a long time Gary had been trying unsuccessfully to connect with the energies of a land not his own… now he is forging a ‘Don and Wen trail‘ of his own, discovering dragons, fabulous landscape geometries and Templar mysteries, hiding in plain sight.
So, maybe, after all, the ‘Don and Wen Trail’ does exist… if only between the pages of a book.
Lands of Exile Book Two
Ben, fast becoming a folk hero after the apparent theft of a standing stone, now languishes in Bakewell Gaol. Don and Wen, suspected of being his accomplices, are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.
From England to Scotland, the officers of the Law have followed the trail of the erratic couple as they visited the ancient sites of Albion. This time, though, as Don and Wen take the slow boat to Ireland, Kraas and Jaw Dark are one step ahead.
But Ireland is a land of mystery and magic where reality is intertwined with vision and standing stones are still open doors…
How long can Don and Wen continue to evade the long arm of the Law?
In the shadows, a labyrinth of secrecy shrouds a mysterious figure. What is Montgomery’s interest in a small standing stone? Just how many high-level strings can he pull… and why? And what is the dark, winged creature that is now on the loose?
Join Don and Wen as they continue their adventures in the sacred and magical landscape of Albion.