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The Artisans (Sutton Mills Book 3)

I’ve always been fascinated by cults.

Cults are such a curious phenomenon. Some examples of various doctrines would advocate plant worship, plastic gods, and sacred melons as the ultimate messiah, or as answer to that all time big question: why? To my mind, it conjures up the phrase you couldn’t write this down and make someone believe it…and yet that was exactly what I attempted to do in the spring of 2016. To get a reader to swallow, whole, the idea of a cult worshipping a fictional prehistory was bad enough; to get readers to swallow this within the framework of a Sutton Mills adventure seemed nigh-on impossible. As my research led me to some examples that seemed, quite frankly, unbelievable and preposterous (the Prince Phillip Movement is one that comes to mind), who was going to read this in a novel and believe that it could be real?

But cults like this are real. They do exist in the world. Apparently two million people in the USA are part of a cult, and that is not a number that can be ignored. How do large groups of seemingly sensible adults get caught up in practices that are not only illegal, but can sometimes be grossly evil?

I’m not sure I have the answer, and I have not even really tried to supply one in The Artisans (even though I offer up a few questionable theories). But for all that, this novel was a pleasure to write. It had been brewing at the back of my head for so long (four years, if I think back) that when I finally put pen to paper, it was as if a dam had burst; I couldn’t stop writing. Most of the lower level detail of the cult and how it operated seemingly arose from nowhere (or perhaps I should concede that it arose from the ever-fertile landscape of the writer’s subconscious, which never truly sleeps); like a dream, I enjoyed the revelations in the story, even as I was writing them. I hope you do too.

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A Journey Through Ancient Britain


West Kennet Long Barrow. Click on the photographs for more information.

Stony Littleton Long Barrow. Click on the photographs for more information.

Stanton Drew Stone Circles. Click on the photographs for more information.

St James Barton Roundabout. Click on the photographs for more information.

The Lord Mayor's Chapel. Click on the photographs for more information.

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