This is a blog I have set up to give a little more information regarding Uncle Flynn, my first novel, which is now available to download from Amazon.co.uk if you go there and search for Uncle Flynn.
The main motivation for writing Uncle Flynn was primarily to try my hand at an exciting, fun adventure story in the vein of Arthur Ransome or Enid Blyton, with perhaps a little Indiana Jones thrown in. Obviously, I also wanted it to be original in its own right and eventually I hit on the inspiration that hopefully gave it that edge.
Said inspiration came after I saw a particularly miserable news story about how many parents in the UK are terrified of letting their children play outside these days. I immediately hit upon the simple idea of an intelligent young boy called Max Bradley who craves adventure yet has crippling phobias about everything from climbing trees to entering unfamiliar buildings. The arrival of his uncle proves a catalyst to him gradually overcoming his fears as they follow clues to what they hope will be buried treasure. However, the question of exactly who Uncle Flynn really is provides the central mystery of the entire book.
The character of Uncle Flynn himself is named after a combination of legendary cinematic swashbucklers Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn, hence his name, Douglas Flynn. However, Flynn proves a much darker character than any of the heroes played by the aforementioned Hollywood legends. As the story develops his increasingly reckless behaviour places Max in serious, potentially lethal danger.
Max on the other hand could stop at any point and give Flynn up to the police, who are apparently searching for them as they follow the clues across Dartmoor. But Max’s obsessive desire to find the treasure and prove to his often absent father that the local legends were true begins to overrule not only his fears but also his common sense.
Many of the locations in the story are real, including several places mentioned on Dartmoor such as Two Bridges, Wistman’s Woods and so forth. Buckfast Abbey is also real and much of its history is alluded to in the novel, albeit with added dramatic liberties. Some of the geography (especially the precise layout of Buckfast Abbey) has been tweaked to suit the novel, but there is a great deal of local interest that will no doubt be an added selling point in the South West of England should the novel ever become popular.
The ending, which I will not reveal here, has already provoked much debate amongst those who have read it. I aimed to write the kind of book one can reread in a whole new light once the ending is known and enjoy it on a completely different level. I believe I have succeeded, but once again that is for you, the reader, to decide.
In due course, I will be updating this blog with a few photographs of locations that inspired the book, the first chapter, other thoughts on the writing process, and so forth. In the meantime, please feel free to leave comments on what you thought of the book, and I hope you enjoy it.
Simon Dillon, January 2010.