STEVEN IS A BOY WHO PLAYS TO WIN – BUT THIS IS NO GAME. THIS IS AN ADVENTURE HE CAN’T CONTROL.
Steven Topcliff loves gaming but doesn’t believe in fairies or magic – until tricky cousin Tracy drags him away from his game console and gets him to press a red button on a mysterious stone they find in the local park. The stone turns out to be a one-way gateway to Fairyland, where nature rules supreme and technology is banned by law.
Lost without his video games, Steven struggles to survive in this scary new world. The inhabitants are dangerous, sometimes deadly. The Land itself is a living being that deals out instant magical punishments to lawbreakers. And the truth about Tracy is terrible indeed. Homesick and horrified, Steven is desperate to escape.
Ignorant of the rules, it’s not long before he breaks them and ends up in the custody of the ruthless Fairy Queen. He learns she’s the living power behind the Land and its creatures, and she has no intention of setting him free. He also suspects she’s not telling him her true reason for keeping him prisoner.
Whatever her game is, Steven isn’t about to play it her way. His only chance of escape is to magic his own gateway home, so he attempts to build up some psychic muscle. The Queen uses all her guile to distract and torment him, and he lives in dread of being eaten alive by gruesome snake-like monsters that live in her garden; but the biggest block to his concentration is his own lack of faith. He still doesn’t believe it’s possible for a human being to do magic.
Can he believe in himself enough to forge the new gateway? And can he rely on the few friends he’s made to help him outwit the Queen?
I live on the South Gower coast, in an area of outstanding natural beauty that gives me plenty of inspiration. I hate housework and often wonder if there’s a breed of gruesomely grubby goblin whose sole purpose is to mess up people’s homes. My new book The Slapstyx explores this idea.
I like to think the fabric of material reality is riddled with holes leading to magical dimensions. When my nephew had a phase of video game addiction, I wondered how he would manage in a dimension where technology was banned: would he embrace the adventure or suffer withdrawal symptoms? This is how I came to write Gateway to Magic.
I spent most of my time in school writing stories, whether I was meant to be doing it or not. Since then I’ve had various jobs, played in two bands, taught children to play keyboards, written and performed in plays and made a short film. One of my scripts was shortlisted in a BBC scriptwriting contest, with positive feedback from Tony Jordan.
I share my home with Millie and Pearl, two beautiful rescue dogs who allow me to see the world through their eyes. They are also responsible for a lot of the mess.