“This week’s guest on The Word is Belinda Hunt speaking as co-founder of Mardibooks, the publishers, and also as a poet. She reads extracts from some of her writers, and here they are. ‘Visiting Sins’ by Jane Diamond, drama/action novel. ‘Rabbit’ by James Troughton. A short story in the ‘Toast’ collection. ‘In the Eye of the Beholder’, by Rachel Catto, rights of passage, drama novella.’ Windows and Doors’ – poetry- by Belinda Hunt Work in progress …’Spider’ by Belinda Hunt …thriller. ‘Lobster Pot’…poetry collection by Belinda Hunt. Poems by Jemila Abulhawa, Dylan Thomas, Lewis Carroll, Peter Ball.
Who are mardibooks and how we do help writers? Listen to founder of mardibooks, Belinda Hunt read from her favourite stories from mardiwriters. In addition, hear what Mardibooks intern, Jemila has to say about working for Mardibooks and her writing experiences.”
‘Rabbit’ by James Troughton
Rabbit never visits me anymore.
‘The first time I met her was a warm autumn night in late September. I was lying in bed, sleepless despite the late hour, listening to the wind shake the large tree outside and the pitter-patter of raindrops against the window. I lay like this for what felt like hours, never quite able to sleep.
It was only slowly that I noticed the sound of the raindrops was becoming rhythmic, beating out a slow, gentle and looping pattern. Tip-tap. Tip-tap. Tip-tip-tap-tap.
It was then that I sat up, reached for my bedside light and turned it on, looked up at the window, and saw her staring back at me. She was perched on the porch roof, her palms pressed against my window, tapping out that horrible rhythmic pattern with long skeletal fingers. I couldn’t see her face at all; her quick breaths misted up the window and I could only make out a blurry white shape.
My stomach lurched unpleasantly up and into my throat. I dove under my duvet. Who was outside my window? What person or thing would have climbed atop the porch roof and started drumming against the pane?
I held my breath for a long while. I listened intently.
The tapping had stopped.
I slowly poked my head clear of the duvet, and peered at the window. I could see nothing but the gently swaying branches of the tree in the dark night, and I couldn’t hear anything at all. The rain had stopped.
I exhaled slowly, and emerged from my sanctuary. Nothing was at the window anymore. Yet out of the corner of my eye I caught an abnormal glimpse of white. An interloping presence in my room, something that should not have been. I turned my head slowly, my eyes as wide as full and gleaming moons, and saw her. She was sitting on the end of my bed.
This was Rabbit.”
‘Visiting Sins’ by Jane Diamond
“My grandmother died the same day they closed the school down.
Who was Vanessa, what is her connection to Jason Lockley, Hollywood heart-throb and what lies buried in her back garden? And why has someone hidden in her bedroom a newspaper cutting of a murder which took place a hundred years ago?
Anna is thirty two and living alone with a heavy family legacy of silence. Her determination to produce a school play receives a set-back when the school closes, but Anna is slow to recognise defeat anywhere. So when her reclusive grandmother dies, she starts on a journey which will lead her to the answers to her mother’s lonely and unloved childhood. She will travel from an overgrown rectory garden in Hertfordshire to an underground cave in Wales; will discover more than one ancient crime and a girl who ran away a lifetime ago. The last days of Anna’s school will not go according to plan, and no one will ever forget them. And then Anna will find she has choices of her own.”
Listen to the whole radio show here.