UWE lecturer's novel will chill you to the bone

Issue date: 12 January 2006

Death of a Ghost Death of a Ghost by Charles Butler published by Harper Collins

Children's author and English lecturer from the University of the West of England, Charles Butler, has recently had his latest novel, Death of a Ghost published by Harper Collins. The book is described as a time-slip ghost story that will chill readers to the bone.

Charles Butler describes the story: “When Ossian reluctantly returns to Lynchfint House – a country house with pretensions to match – with his artist father he finds things bizarrely familiar and yet oddly different. Reacquainting himself with the Frazer family he finds himself questioning the accuracy of certain childhood memories and wondering why the place seems to hold such power over him. One thing he is sure of, however – the ghosts are still haunting him.

“When Ossian puzzles over his existence, an ancient goddess searches for her lost love. She must call in the Scryer to track him down wherever he may be, for the wedding must go ahead. After all, she and Ossian were made for each other….”

Charles Butler, who has lived in Bristol for 16 years, has published four other children's books including 'The Fetch of Mardy Watt', 'Calypso Dreaming', 'Timon's Tide' and 'The Darkling'. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in English Literature and his teaching and research interests include children's fantasy fiction and Renaissance literature.

Asked about what appeals to him in the ghost story genre Charles Butler said: “Ghosts are a wonderful way of exploring time and memory, and in this case also the history of a particular 'haunted' landscape. Add to that the fact that they can keep you on the edge of your seat, and you've got a winning combination.”

Charles wrote his first book at the age of 18 but it took him until he was in his mid thirties to find a publisher. “Writing both fiction and academic prose might at first sight seem like very different activities, but I'm constantly struck by the ways in which each side of my work feeds the other. It's a very fruitful combination.”

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The book is available in paperback priced £5.99, ISBN: 0-00-712858-4.


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