New novel by Doncaster author has its fantasy world roots planted in the town

A new novel set in a fantasy world has its roots very firmly planted in Doncaster.

Monday, 4th April 2022, 3:10 pm

Twicetime, by Wheatley-born author and former BBC radio presenter, Carol Carman, has just been published by McCaw Press.

Building a bodyguard to kill your aristocratic niece’s vengeful ex-husband should be easy for a witch. All you need is the right body and the right magic, and soon you have a mindless killer to do your bidding. Of course, it all depends on what the butler brings back from the cemetery…

That’s the premise for Twicetime, which puts a new comic twist on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s a fabulously funny page-turner, with the aristocracy rubbing shoulders with the resurrected in a battle for life, love and supremacy, not to mention a castle and a fortune.

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Carol with her new book

“It’s very much a story about relationships,” says Carol, a former pupil of the McAuley Catholic High School. “Some characters want to get into one, some want to get out of one and others have no choice about theirs. As the story unfolds, people find out who they really are and what they really want – and how far they’re prepared to go to get it.”

And while the book may be set in a fantasy town, Doncaster readers might spot geographical parallels with her home town.

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The clues are all there. For example, in Twicetime there’s a racecourse (known as the ‘Horse Course’) which is situated opposite a flying school (where witches learn how to fly) and running between them is the Great North Road. Even the fictional town’s name – Maund – is a nod to Doncaster’s past, being an anagram of Danum.

The new book

“When you’re creating a fantasy setting,” Carol says, “you either need to start from scratch and build your map as you go along or start from an existing place and base your fantasy town on that. For me, there was no question: it had to be Doncaster, where I was born and grew up. Twicetime isn’t a re-creation of the modern town, but I’ve taken Doncaster’s past as my inspiration. It’s a place with such a rich history to call on, some of which may have vanished from everyday sight – such as demolished buildings, lost street names or built-over green spaces – but it’s still available on old maps, and from my own memories of how the town was when I was growing up.”

Twicetime comes three and a half years after Carol’s well-received debut novel, Gingerbread Children, also set in Maund. She says that it wasn’t only Covid that delayed the new book’s release. “The original publication date for Twicetime was 2020, but that was shelved because of the pandemic, a series of family bereavements and my treatment for breast cancer which was, I’m very grateful to say, successful.”

Acclaimed novelist Nicola Upson calls Twicetime ‘A delicious blend of magic, mayhem and wit.’Top comedy writer Paul Kerensa, scriptwriter for such hits as Not Going Out and Miranda, has described Carol’s writing as ‘Riotously funny, deliciously dark storytelling painting a fantastical world that’s a work of art, with sublime characters that seem oh-so-familiar but joyously fresh.”

Carol Carman’s book Twicetime is available from www.mccawmedia.co.uk as well as on Amazon, Kindle and Kobo.

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