Walking Backwards for Christmas: A Tale of Woe from Soggyhall is the first in a series. At 139 pages and much more lighthearted than the books to follow, it can be a stand-alone holiday treat, or a seasonal appetizer for the entire ten-book series and an introduction to the longer and increasingly darker books to come. In this first novelette, it’s Christmas 1960, in the wettest winter England’s known in living memory. Eight-year old Reggie Stone is forced to spend it in “Soggyhall” – the less than kind name Reggie’s given to his grandmother’s home in Solihull. Once warm and welcoming, it has become dark, drafty and dreary, water dripping down the walls, but none of it darker than his grandmother’s mood, in mourning since his grandfather’s death. But ... adventure can be found anywhere and Reggie's new best friend from India insists on joining him. Sanjit "Stan" Gupta is curious about this strange tradition of "Christmas." Together, the boys manage to turn this potentially dismal Christmas into something magical – but not before they go to a realm between the worlds of the living and the dead, meet Reggie’s dead grandfather again and become friends with Bethany, the ghost of a girl from the 17th century who was executed for witchcraft. Only then do they return to the land of the living, draw on lessons from the Hindu Diwali, and have a visit from an unsettling angel before the magic can happen. The story is told by Reg, Reggie’s 24-year-old Americanized self, now facing a new dark, arid period in his life, wondering if he can reach into the past, to claim the magic one more time. The entire ten-book series spans the years 1960 through 1976. It finds Reggie not only in the West Midlands, and later in Southern California, but in scores of alternative mystical, magical, historical, spectral, diabolical, celestial and astral realms -- and the border realms in-between. In addition to his temporal friends, he reunites with a number of beings from long-ago and other dimensions: Some friends, some allies, some enemies -- and finds his closest, staunchest friend and ally to guide him through. But who or what is this guide really, and what does she want of Reggie?
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G.H. McCallum grew up in what was then the British Columbia countryside, followed by England’s West Midlands, with its inspirations for several places in Tolkein’s Middle Earth, before moving to Southern California. Intense study of drama and music composition led him to write and perform with “Spare Change Radio Theatre.” Working as songwriter/bassist/vocalist in a series of ProgRock and Power-pop bands lends a musical note to his writing. Active in the Writers’ Mastermind Group and a member of Golden Pen Collective. He’s written a short story, “Natalie,” in the anthology Waiting at the Train Station, the true tale of a terminally ill girl with whom he became friends during his own childhood hospitalization, and how she motivated him to undertake both creative writing and dramatics. For the near future, his primary focus is the Reggie Stone series, a 10-volume series of Historical Magic Realism novels set between the years 1960 and 1976. The first novelette of the series, Walking Backwards for Christmas: A Tale of Woe from Soggyhall, was published in 2014 and is now in its second edition. The second, a full novel, The Bluebottle Boys, is due in late 2015
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