16 July 2011

Torc of Moonlight - Introducing the Characters - Leonard

Concentrating on this month’s summer sale of Torc of Moonlight, I’m calling Leonard Harkin into the spotlight. For some years Leonard has been a tutor at Hull’s university where Nick Blaketon is a second year student. Leonard, if you please…?

Mr Harkin, if you don’t mind. And I’d like to make it quite clear from the outset that Blaketon is not a student on any of my courses. He barged into my studio, dripping water all over my benches, and in the most uncouth and surly manner threatened me with physical harm. I’d never even met the youth. I still believe it was he who tampered with the Roman head I was—

I know sculpture is not a part of the Art & Design syllabus, but I am a Fine Artist by training, and I have leave from the Vice-Chancellor to use the studio to continue my own work, including occasional commissions. That head was sabotaged, and I am convinced that I’d been slipped something noxious. How do you account for the hallucinations? These students come from their schools fluttering their ‘A’ levels and most of them can’t even draw a straight line without the aid of pixels and a mouse. They don’t like being told, that’s the trouble. No, I do not own a vivarium. Toad-licking? I’ve never heard anything so preposterous. Who gave you leave to ask these questions?

Mother Earth Society…? I am not a member. Yes, I was some time ago but it isn’t good for tutors and— That charge was not upheld. But I’ll have you know that my counter-claim for harassment was. Yes, I own a student house; yes I live on the top floor – it’s my house, where do you think I’m going to live? It’s large, it’s situated close to the campus, and accommodation is always tight. It is perfectly reasonable to let out the lower floor to— Because female students are less bother. They clean up after themselves for a start. And don’t tell me I can’t smoke. If I want a cigarette I’ll damned well have one.

Paintings…? I’ve told you, I’m a fine artist.

No one by that name ever sat for me. I never painted her. She was not a member of the Mother Earth—


You invited me here under false pretences. You know nothing of what you are alluding to. It’s got nothing to do with this university. Mother Earth Society… I thought at one time we’d opened a portal, but no. It started years ago, in York. Julia was the one. We were students together. She understood. She understands. That’s why she moved away. I should have gone with her. She begged me. I should have gone with her.

I will not speak her name. Do you understand nothing? To name is to imbue with life. Don’t call it!

I should have gone with Julia, gone south out of its reach. Why didn’t I?


Torc of Moonlight: Book 1 in the Celtic Goddess Trilogy
July offer 99c / 86p
UK Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004FEFCKK


  1. The fear comes through the bombast beautifully. What a horrid little man he is! I think the word 'toad' with the words 'slimy little' in front of it fit him precisely. Having said that, I can't help feeling a bit sorry for him. Obviously in self-aggrandizement, he started something he couldn't stop. If only he'd realized how much he needed Julia before...

  2. Thanks for stopping by and giving your thoughts.

    I actually got quite attached to Leonard during the writing, which came across in one of the reviews the novel received. The reviewer didn't want to like him at all (who would?) but found a 'surprising sympathy'for him as the novel unfolded.

    There'll be one of his scenes up on Wednesday.