Today I am here to welcome you to the wonderful Simon David Eden who has written you all a guest post!
His book, The Savage Kingdom was published on the 17th July and is a middle grade fantasy adventure book that cat lovers are sure to truly enjoy! Find more information and where you can get the book, below!
The Savage Kingdom’s feline lead character Will-C is actually an amalgam of two cats. The main inspiration was our black cat Bagherra who joined the family when we were living in St Margarets, near Richmond back in the mid-90s.
Bags was an abandoned kitten with a gammy eye who my daughter Millie fell in love with at a rescue centre. They became inseparable. Later on when we moved to Sussex, Bags befriended a three-legged cat who lived nearby. When I began to devise the story, I drew on Bags’ nature – smart, inquisitive, playful, loyal, always affectionate and tolerant (even when pursued by tail-tugging, over-enthusiastic human tots!), but as the epic journey at the heart of the story is pretty terrifying in places, it didn’t feel right to actually put him in it. So I sort of merged him and his three-legged friend to give myself license to go wild. As you can see from the photo below, he took his role as muse very seriously and stayed as close as possible to the action!
Someone asked me recently if I’d become wary and suspicious of our cats as a result of writing the novel. And the answer is no. Just like Bags (who sadly died in 2012 aged 15) I’m sure our two new additions to the family, Bea and her brother Mosey will look out for us and help to organise the Truckles Domesticated Animal Resistance when the trouble starts. At least I hope so!
Picking up where Bags left off! Mosey’s a big fan of the petting-while-typing combo, whereas Bea is more interested in the process. If they need someone to handle IT in the post-human world she’ll definitely be the go to feline!
Brother and sister were born at the Champions Animal Sanctuary which was set up by my late great friend the actress and animal rights campaigner Alexandra Bastedo. Their mother was a pregnant stray found wandering the streets. Though they were part of the same litter, they are very different. Bea is slight, incredibly bright, independent and fearless – the latter perhaps because she was born completely deaf, which is quite common with white cats, and therefore isn’t frightened of loud noises like the neighbouring farmer’s dogs barking furiously as she pads through their garden. Physically she fits the description of a ‘White Oriental Shorthair’, while Mosey on the other hand – who always has a lot to say, is frightened of his own shadow and salivates uncontrollably when snuggled – is closer to a ‘Turkish Angora’, with his two different coloured eyes, thick fluffy coat and tail held looped above him like a Husky. Look out for a guest appearance in The Savage Kingdom Book II!
When Drue’s beloved cat Will-C goes missing, she’s unaware that his disappearance is the start of the greatest global conflict the world has ever known. The animal kingdom has declared war on mankind, and now domesticated creatures must choose who to fight for: Man or Beast.
Cast into a world full of danger, but determined to rescue Will-C and bring him home, Drue starts out on a quest and makes an astonishing discovery: an ancient tribe of shape-shifters, who have lived in the shadows since the dawn of time, are about to play a key role in shaping the future – but can they save mankind? And what role is Drue herself about to play?
The Savage Kingdom is an unforgettable tale about courage, hope, loyalty… and the unbreakable bond between a girl and her cat.
Simon David Eden a graduate of the Royal College of Art, Simon has written screenplays for film and award-winning television drama. He has also worked as a lyricist, lecturer, designer and playwright. This is his first fiction novel and this new direction is something he’s now passionate about pursuing and focusing on. For more information about Simon’s work visit his website: www.simondavideden.com