Somewhere in the damp, twisting alleyways of the Songwynd slums there lives a hideous freak of nature. Driven by poverty, Spin and her family move to the Songwynds in search of work. There they share a tiny, rat-infested flat with a wishhobbler. An enormous toffee and custard guzzling fleabag, the wishhobbler’s viciousness has caused fear and mayhem among the slum dwellers. Unable to hit back at the wishhobbler, her victims instead pick on Spin and her family. Friendless, haunted by thugs and bullies, and struggling to cope with a rare illness, Spin isn’t having much fun. When the wishhobbler disrupts the carefully laid plans of the mysterious Television Racers, Spin finds herself at the centre of a deadly confrontation. And then things take a turn for the worse … By turns comic and terrifying, this fully illustrated novel is a must for anyone who’s ever been bored, bullied or lived with a monster. Originally published in 2001, this is a brand new and expanded edition of a much loved novel. The original 24 stunning pen and ink drawings have now been joined by nearly 30 brand new illustrations. This is a dark urban fairy tale of a young girl struggling with her identity and defying her destiny. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, Spin has been adopted by Sir Fistache mal Arthreign. The knight’s habit of collecting waifs and strays has thrown together a family of rowdy headbangers. A dysfunctional family with a dangerous secret at its heart. Expelled from countless towns and villages, they hope to make a fresh start in the Songwynd slums. But bringing along their pet wishhobbler wrecks any chance of this. An outsider wherever she goes, Spin longs for something to be a part of. Forced into work to feed and clothe her adoptive family, she finds a way of using her new job to enter the carefully guarded world of the Television Racers. Not the first mistake she’s ever made, but it could well be the last …

Meet Francis O’Dowd

Francis O’Dowd is a Scottish writer and illustrator whose pen and ink drawings perfectly complement his Pythonesque storytelling: the whimsical & surreal against the grittiness of everyday life. For many years he was the chairperson of a youth music charity. He has recorded several albums of music including full length soundtracks for his novels Wishhobbler and Hopesgrave Easily. His YouTube channel features book trailers, music videos and readings. Francis lives in Scotland with his wife, their daughter and two sons, several dogs and Guinea pigs, and has a time machine parked in the back garden. He was once asked for his autograph by Tom Baker, who used to be terribly famous.

The Serpent and the Swan

Cygna, cursed with a swan’s wing in place of one arm, is all that stands between her home and ruination. It is a quest her step-mother hopes she won’t survive.

The kingdom is withering into a wasteland and a monster from the Underworld is making its march of destruction toward the castle. And at her coming of age, Cygna is afraid her father will force her to take the throne. Born to unconventional parentage, she is stuck between two worlds and a threat to anyone who won’t suffer an inhuman girl’s ascent to power. To prove her worth and her loyalty, and to save her family, she must challenge the Lindworm. It requires a journey to the Underworld where blood unlocks doors, magic rules, and the Fae King is under a curse of his own.

This novella is perfect for readers who wish ‘grimdark’ meant ‘Grimm-dark,’ and for fans of Neil Gaiman, Erin Morgenstern, and Scandinavian folklore. Updated for the modern reader, it twists traditional fairy tale elements with a princess who is determined to save herself.

Meet Ashland Pym

Ashland Pym made her debut in the theatre where she won a few minor awards and delighted in tormenting characters, actors, and audiences alike. After taking a break to get her MA/PhD in Myth and Psychology, she returned to fiction with a blend of dark, contemporary, and historical fantasy.

Pym has been a shepherd, a stage manager, a publisher of literary erotica (we won’t tell if you don’t), and a volunteer for collecting otter droppings. She dabbles with myth in academia, couches it into fiction, and lives it in her tiny woodland cottage in Connemara.