Octavos Bookshop in Cardiff Bay was packed to the rafters yesterday for the launch of The Night Fogs, Dale Frances Hay’s dystopian fantasy of a future Cardiff attacked by mysterious fogs. The first draft of the novel was written before the Brexit vote but thr story attained a new relevance after the referendum, one reason why publishers Holland House were keen to sign up this previously unpublished author. It’s a highly original work, touching on paganism, militarism and psychotherapy, and anchored in the relationship of two very different sisters.
Like many novels, The Night Fogs went through various revisions before reaching a publishable form, and it was a course at Bute Park which played an important role in this. Carry On Writing, run in the spring of 2016, was aimed at writers who already had works in progress. It attracted a fascinating mixture of writers, all very different yet equally interested in each other’s work, and the discussion and development of Dale’s novel was a demanding yet thoroughly rewarding aspect of the course.
I’ve not yet decided whether to run another Carry on Writing course, but if there is sufficient demand I shall certainly consider it. In the meantime I shall be running more of the other courses which have proved popular: Creative Writing for All, Writing Short Stories and Writing for Children. The next one will be in September. You do not have to be an aspiring novelist to take part. The aim of all courses is to take you forward as a writer: to motivate you and to increase your understanding of the art of writing. But if you do really want to get published, I shall certainly do my best to help you.
The Night Fogs is available at various outlets including Amazon.