Monday 4 September 2023

Constantine, "Jötunheim"

Congratulations to University of Leicester MA graduate Constantine on the publication of his new children's novel!

Constantine is an autistic author and father. He achieved a first-class BA at Middlesex University in 2017 and completed his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Leicester in 2022. Between the two degrees he wrote four episodes of the Children’s TV show Pablo, and has written and published the picture book Tiya and the Minotaur and The Cats of Charnwood ForestJötunheim is the sequel.

About Jötunheim: The Cats of Charnwood Forest Book 2

In every world, from Alfhiem to Kapol-Tok itself, tremors have struck bringing destruction. The Thringstone fault is active; nobody knows why. Reality is falling apart at the seams. Through one of the cracks comes an ancient Jötunn, an ice giant of Viking legend, with a message for Bailey and Scruff. Only they can prevent the collapse of the universe itself.

You can read more about Jötunheim here. Below, you can read an edited excerpt from the novel. 

From Jötunheim, by Constantine

As the boy approached, Bailey could hear him sniffling and snuffling as he wept, and Bailey’s heart went out to him.

“Oh, I wish you could understand me,” said Bailey, sighing out loud. The boy stopped, looked around in confusion, and spotted Bailey.

“Did you just speak to me?” he said.


Bailey stood to attention as the boy scratched behind his ears.

“Please don’t,” said Bailey, “I don’t have time. I need to find my sister.”

“How many of you are there?” said the boy. “You are the first native cats I've seen since I came to England.”

“How come you can understand me?” said Bailey.

“Cats are sacred to my people,” said the boy, “Our legends tell of two magic cats who pull the goddess Freyja’s chariot. But even for my people, it is a rare gift, and we tend to keep it secret. We have cats back at the Thorpe.”

“I’m sorry this is too much for me to take in,” said Bailey. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Bailey, and I’m a Guardian of the Charnwood Forest. Who are you?”

“I’m Leif Osgoodson. My father’s Thorpe is up the road.”

“What’s a Thorpe?” Bailey asked.

“Oh …  it's - what’s the Saxon for it? It’s a farm, I think.”

Bailey’s brow furrowed. “Osgood’s son … from Osgood’s farm … Osgood’s Thorpe? ... Osgathorpe? You’re from Osgathorpe?”

“Well, I’m from Norway,” said Leif, “but my father built the Thorpe a few years ago after our Jarl, Halfdan, gave us the land.”

“Only a few years ago?” said Bailey. “What year is it?”

“Well, it’s the 5th year of the Danelaw,” said Leif, “So by Saxon terms, it must be about the year eight hundred and eighty-three, I think.”

“I’m sorry,” said Bailey “When?

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