Plymouth Marjon University alumni Carl Jones has released his debut novel, 21 years after graduating with from the University’s English Literature course.
Carl, who is currently working as a teacher at St Peter’s High School in Gloucester, graduated from Marjon in 1998 with a 2:1 in English Literature and has now achieved his dream of having his writing published.
Whiteout is a young adult fantasy horror book which tells the chilling story of a group of students trapped up a mountain on a ski trip when things take a dark turn for the worse.
Published by Stripes as part of their acclaimed Red Eye series, Whiteout is the culmination of a lifetime of writing for Carl, who writes under the pseudonym of Gabriel Dylan.
“I’ve always written stuff but I’ve never really set about putting it in front of the right people,” said Carl.
“I wrote Whiteout in 2017 but hid it away. Nobody knew that I did writing in my spare time. Eventually, my wife read the draft and told me to send it away to some people and I half-used the pseudonym to protect myself if people didn’t like it!”
Carl needn’t have worried about the reception his book would receive, as Stripes deemed the book worthy of their hugely popular Red Eye series of books; all of which are set in the horror genre. Since its release on the 10th January 2019, Whiteout has been picked up by WHSmith and Waterstones and at the time of writing is sat at number 17 in the Amazon horror chart.
Carl continued: “To walk in to a book shop and see my writing is beyond my wildest dreams.
“The reviews have been really good and I’ve had kids at school getting really excited about it and bringing books in for me to sign. Being a published writer doesn’t happen to people like me so it really is a dream come true to have my book out there and doing well.
“Since its release I’ve had offers to talk at events about horror writing; sharing my experiences of writing with large groups of people.”
A student who struggled academically at A Levels, Carl was keen to pay tribute to the role Marjon played in helping open his eyes to different opportunities.
“I did quite badly at A Levels but Marjon gave me a chance. The lecturers saw some potential in me and guided me through my studies,” said Carl.
“I studied so many different texts at Marjon and that really helped me appreciate classic novels and classic authors throughout the years. It opened my eyes and ignited my love of reading and literature. On top of that, my degree opened the door to my career in teaching.”
With a debut novel already on the shelves, Carl is starting to learn about life as an author as he pens another book at the request of the publishers.
“Work on the second book is well underway and it will be another fantasy horror book so fingers crossed that one goes as well as the current one.”
Apply now to study BA (Hons) English at Marjon in 2019.
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