The Cracklock Saga book 1 Fae or Foe Craig Deegan
‘Faery, where the monsters are not only from make believe.’
Fifteen year old Jack has grown up as a lovely lad who goes to school, delivering papers and washing dishes to bring in money to supplement his mum’s hard-earned income. As far as Jack knows, he’s just a normal lad who’s had a bit of a rough time since his father died.
All that changes rapidly. He starts to hear things others can’t, see things that no-one else can. A non-human beast disguised as a harmless old man tries to kill him. (We find out never to trust appearances – they can definitely be deceiving.) Along comes Aunt Elsie and her ferret and they introduce Jack to the world of faery.
Not the cute pretty world of fairy tales, but one of a multitude of outlandish beings, and by no means all of them are nice. It is a divided world with both good and downright evil. A bit like the human world actually. There is plenty of evil there as well, from the bullies at school to Jack’s own family – the part he’s never met before.
The author takes us on a wild ride full of action as he introduces us to an intricate magical world where not even the way folk travel is the same. Draw a symbol on a door and step into another time and place. The details are well thought out and workable – once you as a reader are ready to step into faery.
Different types of beings who populate faery have defined characteristics; Brownies are loyal and will fight to the end to defend the people they care for, care which is shown by looking after them, feeding them, cleaning up after them, nursing them when they are sick. Boggarts like to hang around pubs, thriving on other people’s evilness.
It was interesting how the evilness in the school bullies is shown to have developed from poor parenting from a mother who couldn’t be bothered and a father who was probably a bully himself, and allowed to continue as no one is brave enough to stand up to them, including teachers. Until Jack.
The division in Jack’s family is cleverly explained, tracing the problems back to the time of the Witchfinder General, when to be a witch, or at least to be accused of it, to see or hear anything strange that others couldn’t, was to be at risk of losing your life. Part of the family gave in to prevailing thought and religious beliefs and decried those that didn’t, leading to the break down in family relationships as one side couldn’t trust the other.
When I first looked at this book, it was described on Amazon as being fiction for teens and young adult. I can confirm that I am nowhere near this category so I wondered what I would find. What I found was a highly readable and enjoyable book. Imagine my dismay at finding that it ended on a cliff-hanger. What happens next? The answer is to read the next book in the series.
I asked the author to tell me a bit about themself and their publishing journey.
Hi everyone! I live in the East Midlands, right in the centre of the UK, and when I’m not writing or working, I’m with the family or walking the dog in the local woodlands seeking those ever-elusive Fae. Or sitting, pint in hand with the good friends I grew up with. Some of them are hidden in the books themselves; quite a few characters are based on the people I know and love.
I am self-published. I confess that I did try and look for an agent initially; it was the marketing side of the business that scared me. After doing a lot of research I decided that I didn’t want to wait a long time and then lose overall control of my stories, just to be saddled with marketing anyway. That’s when I started looking seriously at self-publishing. And I am glad that I did.
Marketing – I have tried pretty much all of it and I’m lucky enough to be doing alright. One think I have yet to try is TikTok. Something to look at for the future.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - always happy to answer questions!
Website: https://www.thecracklocksaga.com [check this out for all things Cracklock!]
Book 1, Fae or Foe?: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09G9RNMMS
Book 2, The Lost and the Departed: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09KNDM9YZ
Book 3, Alice and the Mirror Glass: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09QJ2TV9S
Book 4, Dire Sorrows will release Quarter 4 2022. A standalone story which precludes book 4, “The Tale of Nathaniel Cracklock”, will release Summer 2022.