|Ever Dundas signing her contract (photo © Jenny Brown Associates)|
It has been a long journey for this unique story. Ever wrote the opening chapters of Goblin as her major project while a part-time student on the MA between 2009 and 2011. She pitched it to Scotland's leading literary agent Jenny Brown in 2013, and completed Goblin 18 months later.
Now it has been contracted for 2017 by Glasgow's Freight Books, which was recently named Scottish Publisher of the Year at the Saltire Awards. We asked Ever how she felt after so many years of hard work to reach this point.
“I’m thrilled to be on Team Freight and I’m very much looking forward to unleashing Goblin on the world," she said. "It’s been a long and difficult journey to get here – I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago, and trying to cope with chronic illness as I pursue a writing career has been a challenge. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the love and support of my amazing husband, Cinn.”
Goblin will become the third novel published that was a major project novel by a graduate from the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University, following on from Wasp by Ian Garbutt and Catherine Simpson's Truestory. Here's a synopsis of the novel:
GOBLIN opens during the London Blitz and nine year old Goblin is running amok over the bomb sites, dog at heel, with her ragged gang of friends. One day she witnesses an atrocity. A fervent animal lover, Goblin is appalled by the piled up mounds of dead pets, the pet massacre, and she takes photographs – but she also captures on film an incident which leaves her traumatised. Goblin buries the camera in a cemetery and erases the episode from her mind.
She’s evacuated to the country and on her return finds her house standing but parents and beloved brother gone. She creates her own family from stray animals, and her imaginary friends, Queen Isabella, the Lizard Queen and Monsta who stay with her even into adulthood. She tells stories to herself (and anyone who will listen) to try to make sense of her chaotic world, she joins a circus, grows up and, wherever she goes, she searches for her missing brother.
In 2011 London is again alight during the Riots, and by this time Goblin is an old woman, living in Edinburgh with her menagerie. The camera is discovered by a cemetery caretaker, the photographs are developed and released to the press, and Britain is outraged to learn about the massacre of pets seventy years before. But the police also discover the last photograph, and the nation’s shock changes to a murder investigation.
The hunt is on for the adult who took those photographs as a child, the only one who can help police with enquiries. Should Goblin turn herself in and force herself to remember the event which changed her life forever? Only by writing down her memories can she come to terms with the past.