Novel idea is all Greek for class aspiring Doncaster author

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Greek Mythology is more a part of everyday lives than we might think – and if you’re of an age where you can remember the original Thunderbirds and the moon landings, the film Jason and the Argonauts probably played a part in your childhood.

Famous for its stop motion animation – the Dynamation created by the late great Ray Harryhausen – it helped to take us on journeys through time and fantasy, from the voyages of Sinbad to Clash of The Titans.

Even in our age of computer generated images or CGI when the special effects are almost sprayed on our eyeballs, these films still charm and fascinate.

And so it seems do the ancient Greek myths that many of us may first have encountered at school.

Most of us can name at least one Greek hero or heroine – as well as the aforementioned Jason – Zeus, Hector, Helen of Troy – when you start the names just pop into your head. Disney even made the story of Hercules into an animation.

But, it’s Achilles, the character played by Brad Pitt in the film Troy, who is the central character of a newly published book by author Simon Cartlidge.

Just over a year ago I woke up in the middle of the night in great pain – within hours I was in hospital, on morphine and being treated with antibiotics for what turned out be a bite in the knee from a false widow spider

Simon Cartlidge

Launched at Waterstones recently, The Pomegranate Ring tells the story of the young Achilles. The story begins as he is born and takes us on the journey of where he came from and what shaped him through his early years.

This is a new view of an ancient story that has taken 10 years of writing and research. Simon, a psychology teacher at The Hayfield School, Auckley, takes up the story: “Many writers say that a book has been a labour of love, but I really feel this one has. The world of Achilles has fascinated me for years, but he always seemed to pop up fully formed and with no real history in popular culture. I wanted to get to the heart of this fascinating character and discover how a young boy turns into the ultimate warrior, killer of Hector at the gates of Troy and the saviour of Greece.”

Simon might have been forgiven in recent months though for thinking he was trapped in a work of fiction himself as his world was turned upside down by a series of events, both good and bad.

“Just over a year ago I woke up in the middle of the night in great pain – within hours I was in hospital, on morphine and being treated with antibiotics for what turned out be a bite in the knee from a false widow spider.”

“My partner Rebecca and I were due to move house that same week, but I ended up staying in hospital for two weeks and having surgery three times in this that fortnight.”

Three months of rehabilitation, including some time on crutches followed.

Once the house moved was finally completed the news that he was to be a father for the first time completed a year of life changing events. Baby Flynn was born in October last year and he was a very welcome addition to the book launch at Waterstones.

This week the news has also come through that The Pomegranate Ring has been put forward for The People’s Book Prize.

At Waterstones in The Frenchgate Centre, book launches are part of the year round programme of events.

Manager of the Doncaster branch, Joe Whittington, was thrilled with the response to The Pomegranate Ring.

“Our customers love to meet their favourite authors. We also really like to support local writers when we can and Simon’s book proved very popular – in fact our stock sold out in less than an hour, with people placing orders on the day as well. We’d also like to wish Simon and The Pomegranate Ring good luck as a nominee for The People’s Book Prize.”

Further information about the book can be found at Simon Brian Cartlidge

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