Title: TO THE EDGE OF DARKNESS
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Word Count: 86,000
At seventeen, Colin Coghill has experienced enough heartache and adventure to encompass two lifetimes. Having lost his father several years earlier during the battle of Grindalythe and spending the last few years recovering great treasure as well as facing massive creatures as he sought retribution, Coghill’s new life as the youngest assistant lecturer at Magdalen College in Oxford, now remains mercifully quiet.
Set in 1910 England, Coghill finds himself in a setting that is perfect; teaching subject matter he loves, in a place he feels the most comfortable, surrounded by a rich tradition of both writing and magic. But the reprieve is short-lived as one-night, monsters of the Darkness crawl out onto the very streets of Oxford searching for him. After a punishing battle that had put both students and faculty at risk, Coghill finally has to accept his role in a war that has been raging for the last two centuries.
Leaving Oxford, Coghill reunites with his best friend Seamus. Together they look for a way back into North Yorkshire and the closer they get, the more frightening the monsters that block their way become. For the first time, trolls, goblins, dwarves, elves, Rangers, Frytons and several of the other peoples of the former North Yorkshire unite in their effort to put an end to the Darkness.
I am a few credits away from getting my Masters in English Literature with a concentration in Fantasy (Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll, GK Chesterton, etc.) and wrote this novel over the past 6 months while taking these classes.
Even at seventeen-years old, Coghill’s appearance on the grounds of Magdalen College was a breath of fresh air. Tousled brown hair, broad smile, a hearty laugh and clear, grey eyes, he remained a mystery to student and faculty alike.
During his first few weeks in Oxford, he chose to stay close to campus for inspiration and revitalization. Coghill recognized that his imagination was nurtured by literature, but also found it renewed by the beauty of the countryside he would see on the long walking tours he took throughout the campus.
And while he still remained plagued with remnants of the challenges and missteps that appeared to be so vivid and compelling in his dreams, he would give snippets of his adventures to the other members of “The Notions Club” a small literary group he had founded made up of some of the most prolific writers of the time.
Unlike more formal groups there were no rules, officers, agendas or elections, just the opportunity to gather together one night a week, for conversation, drinking and to read passages from their unfinished works. The members of the Notions Club thrived on conversation and the elusive possibility of finding flaws in the works of the others. Yes, for them there was nothing better than good conversation and a pint of beer.
Gratefully however, his life over the next few months, would remain mercifully quiet.
As an assistant lecturer to the tenured Professor of Medieval Literature at Magdalen College, it was an opportunity that made so much sense to Coghill at that point in his life, teaching subject matter he loved, in a place he felt the most comfortable, surrounded by friends he loved dearly.