The Concordances of the Red Serpent by William Meikle
Patty is a cataloguer of rare manuscripts, working on part of a newly discovered journal of a 14th Century alchemist. Just another dull day on the job. But after mentioning it in her blog she gets to the office to find everyone brutally murdered. Now she’s on the run with the incomplete journal, trying to find the rest, pursued by a killer who wants the secret of eternal life it contains.
The quest leads her halfway across the world to the castles and misty history of Scotland. She thinks she’s looking for a manuscript. But the things she learns on the journey all point to the 14th Century alchemist himself, a man who is still very much alive.
Most of my work, long and short form, has been set in Scotland, and a lot of it uses the history and folklore. There’s just something about the misty landscapes and old buildings that speaks straight to my soul. (Bloody Celts… we get all sentimental at the least wee thing).
But I think it’s the people that influence me most. Everybody in Scotland’s got stories to tell, and once you get them going, you can’t stop them. I love chatting to people, (usually in pubs) and finding out the -weird- shit they’ve experienced. The protagonist in THE CONCORDANCES is mainly based on a bloke I met years ago in a bar in Partick, and quite a few of the characters that turn up and talk too much in my books can be found in real life in bars in Glasgow, Edinburgh and St Andrews.
I grew up in the West Coast of Scotland in an environment where the supernatural was almost commonplace. My grannie certainly had a touch of “the sight”, always knowing when someone in the family was in trouble. There are numerous stories told of family members meeting other, long dead, family in their dreams, and I myself have had more than a few encounters, with dead family, plus meetings with what I can only class as residents of faerie. I have had several precognitive dreams, one of which saved me from a potentially fatal car crash.
All these things came together in my head when I wrote The Concordances of the Red Serpent. It is a thriller set in the USA, Canada and Scotland and is my attempt at one of those glossy caper movies Hitchcock used to make back in the day with a blonde in peril. Mix that with a bit of Da Vinci Code type musings on alchemical secrets and stir well.
William Meikle is a Scottish writer with twelve novels published in the genre press and over 250 short story credits in thirteen countries. He is the author of the ongoing Midnight Eye series among others, and his work appears in a number of professional anthologies. His ebook THE INVASION has been as high as #2 in the Kindle SF charts. He lives in a remote corner of Newfoundland with icebergs, whales and bald eagles for company. In the winters he gets warm vicariously through the lives of others in cyberspace, so please check him out on his website.
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