A Barmy Prophecy

So, Castle Barmy, a fairy tale for our times, is still making its way in this crazy world, over troubled moats, while not yet quite storming the ramparts. It’s in a warehouse, in the Railway Land Store, in some wonderfully supportive bookshops and with a distributor in Wales. It’s even popped up in Waterstone’s.

Strangely, the story has grown less and less like a fairy tale, and closer and closer to the truth, as the world spins upside down. We have King Boris hoping the poisonous dragon will go away, so that he can enjoy his fun and games. We have a birthday party, a picnic, the stealing of gold, and a flurry of excuses and lies for the bad behaviour of kings and magicians. And then we have King Boris being cast adrift in a boat, so that the land can grow greener and the kingdom ruled over by women and children instead of powerful men. Ah, we can but hope…

And we also have this animation by our amazing illustrator Kate Chesterton, to tempt you to join us at Castle Barmy, and share in a bedtime story that promises us all happier times ahead.

Copyright © Jason Hook / Kate Chesterton 2022

Wordle 2: Sign of the Times

Oh Wordle, you were set for free!
We loved you for your lack of fee.
Now New York Times makes you her bride,
And wordles, words and worlds collide.
We can’t begrudge you such a bid,
But trust you will not slide off grid.

Copyright © Jason Hook 2022

Wordle 1: Barmy

Welcome to our worldle, oh joyful Wordle!
You encircled our globe like a global girdle.
Now I can’t help but nurdle five-letter words,
Like brain and brawn and beast and birds,
Like times and clock and tocks and ticks,
How sad your name requires six.

Copyright © Jason Hook 2022

Castle Barmy

A fairy tale for the lockdown generation.

“The children grew bored. They missed going to school, and they missed their friends. They even missed their teachers. But they knew that they must stay at home as King Boris had commanded. Otherwise the poisonous Dragon would never leave.”

CASTLE BARMY tells the story of King Boris and Doom the Magician, who lock up the kingdom’s children to protect them from a poisonous dragon. But upon discovering that Doom has broken lockdown to count his gold and enjoy a lavish picnic at Castle Barmy, the children escape to create a land where nature thrives, families spend time together and magicians must behave as they tell children to behave.

• A medieval morality tale with a modern message for children and parents
• An uplifting picture book for the lockdown generation
• The perfect family talking point for 2021

This is a bedtime story to share between children who have experienced the highs and lows of lockdown, and parents who have found their way through the crisis while rediscovering the joy of family and the inspiration of the natural world. For the children, there are dragons, knights, castles and princesses. For the adults, there is the satire and the knowledge of what the poisonous dragon represents. Beautifully illustrated by Kate Chesterton, this is a Pied Piper for the modern age.

Castle Barmy is out now on Ebook through Kindle Fire and KindleApp, available for download from Amazon, the debut release by Brighton independent publisher Railway Land Press. Please download and discuss, and let’s hope the happy ending of this fairy tale is one we can all soon share.

Ebook: December 2020, £4.99
Hardback:
May 2021, £12.99

(Castle Barmy is © copyright Jason Hook & Kate Chesterton, published by Railway Land Press, 2020)

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! May it be kinder, gentler and greener than the last one.

“With the towns quiet and the roads empty, the land had grown greener and the skies had grown bluer. The trees were taller, there were flowers everywhere and the air was filled with the singing of birds…”

—From Castle Barmy, available on Amazon for KindleApp, illustration by Kate Chesterton 2020