Candy Jar Books has announced the next in its limited edition Lethbridge-Stewart novella range:
The Lost SkinWritten by Andy Frankham-AllenCover by Adrian Salmon
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is on leave in New York, but in Scotland word reaches the Fifth Operational Corps that Harold Chorley, journalist and pain in Lethbridge-Stewart’s rear, has got wind of the Corps’ presence in Stirling.
A plan is set in motion to take Chorley on a wild goose chase to John o Groats, as far from the Corps as possible. RSM Samson Ware and Professor Travers travel to the edge of Scotland, leaving a trail of breadcrums, which are picked by Chorley and his old chum, Larry Greene.
But it soon becomes clear that there is a real mystery in John o Groats, a strange link between Mhairi Docherty – a woman from Huna – and the Orkney Islands, and the local legend of the Selkie. To protect Mhairi, Samson needs to sideline Chorley and Greene, but the ever-erratic Professor Travers has other plans.
What is drawing Mhairi to the Orkney Islands? What hold does Chorley have over Greene? And, more importantly, what links Chorley and Greene to the secret history of Mhairi?
Originally intended as a novella, Candy Jar previously published parts one and two of The Lost Skin
in The HAVOC Files 2
, and will now be completed (with 50% new material) as the novella it was originally designed to be.
Range Editor and author, Andy Frankham-Allen
When I first came up with the idea for The Lost Skin, or When Harry Met Larry as I called it then, I didn’t even tell Shaun (Russell, Candy Jar head of publishing) about it, intending to simply write it without worrying about a deadline, and then let him know it existed. But when it became clear that The HAVOC Files 2 was under length I mentioned the novella, and Shaun suggested we seralise it. I was a little cautious, but decided to go for it. Sadly, when I was trying to work on part three, a few things occurred in my personal life which brought on the horrid return of depression and I just knew there was no way I could complete The Lost Skin in such a piecemeal way.Shaun Russell
Obviously the mental wellbeing of my authors, and in this case range editor, is important so I told Andy to just stop, focus on something that would help him straighten out his mind again. Which he did. Later the topic of The Lost Skin came up again, and we decided maybe it would be better to finish it as the novella Andy had intended it to be.
This suited me better, and as I was in the process of ‘clearing the decks’ mentally, I decided that not only would I finish The Lost Skin, I would add material to the first two parts so that the novella version would contain a good fifty percent new material. This way, not only do I tell the story properly, but the readers will get enough new material that, for those who read parts one and two, they will feel like they’re almost reading a new book.The Lost Skin
features Professor Travers, but also brings back Harold Chorley and his old chum, Larry Greene. Andy explains:
Larry Greene was never meant to be. He was designed as a replacement for Harold Chorley in The Schizoid Earth, as Chorley’s appearance in that book contradicted the events of the then-forthcoming novel, Mutually Assured Domination. That’s the real world reason why they seem so similar. But in the fiction, there needed to be a reason for this similarity, and so I came up with a back-story, one I never revealed to anybody, although hints have been given in the Lethbridge-Stewart novels over the last few years. So, one of the main goals of The Lost Skin is to finally bring Harold and Larry together (and throw our other journalist, Charlie Redfern, into the mix) and explain their back-story.
The cover is by regular artist Adrian Salmon
, who was selected specifically for this cover by Andy. He says:
All our artists have their own particular approach and we love them because of this. However, I really wanted Adrian’s stark style for this cover. It really sums up the emotional isolation I’m trying to depict in the book.
The cover features both Harold Chorley and Larry Greene, as well Samson Ware and the ‘lost skin’ of the title, against a nice backdrop of the Orkney Islands. Adrian comments:
I love a good symbolic cover, and this was the perfect opportunity by showing Samson examining the empty skin representing the mystery of the Selkie that gives title to Andy's book.The Lost Skin
is now available for pre-order as a limited edition hardback, and is only available directly from Candy Jar Books
or from the Lethbridge-Stewart