Out today! A new episode of my podcast, featuring my reading of chapter 2 of my novel, Writ in Blood and Silver.
In this instalment, we learn more about the people Matt has been calling Prof Arnie and City Man. And here I’m going to talk a little about one of my favourite characters in Writ, Arthur Wessex, aka City Man.
Some ***spoilers ahead***, so if you want to hear about Wessex in context, go listen to chapter 2 before reading on!
Meet Arthur Wessex, occultist and prophet. He realised the danger growing beneath London, and knew he couldn’t hope to defeat it alone. To discover what, or who, could defeat this ancient evil, he performed a Cassandra Ritual. He wrote his prophecies for a full day and night, gripped with the gift of foreknowledge. But such magic has a price, and now Wessex is cursed. He cannot speak, or write, unless it is to repeat fragments of his prophecy. He has become quite adept at working around this restriction, but it still means he can never have a normal conversation again.
While not physically strong, Wessex is a wizard of some ability so when facing off against the demonic forces in London, he is not helpless.
Arthur was one of the first characters I came up with for Writ, because I wanted a character who was both in the know, but also had a legitimate reason for withholding information. Plenty of mentors in genre fiction say things like “the time isn’t right”, “I’ll tell you later” or “you have to see it for yourself”, and it drives me batty. If only they’d told our hero earlier! Why would you not say that! Are you actually trying to help?
But Wessex isn’t like that. He is a man who knows a lot, not just about the what’s happening in and under London in 1999, but he also has a fair idea of some of what is coming. He would be happy to tell Matt everything, he simply cannot. Still, if you listen closely to the things Wessex says, there are secrets to be learned…