Literally beneath them. This innocuous, quaint and historic square is in the town of Xaghra. Only by chance did I spot a queue form near the church steps, disappear down under the car park and apparently never to emerge. Whoa, I had to be part of this since I was writing a historical novel on why more Gozo folk didn’t hide when the pirates came in the 16th century. I joined the queue, parted with half a euro and down I went into a labyrinth carved out of limestone. Beds, store spaces, lights, all what you’d expect for a bomb shelter. Yes, that is what it what they said for the second world war when the brave Maltese sided with the British rather than German and Italian sides. Butbutbut I insisted, this is soft limestone – easy to dig and shape. Surely similar hideouts were dug when the pirates came in waves even before the 1551 big one when everyone was taken off the island.
They are in denial. Certainly, there are no surviving records. The cunning Rais Dragut, in the pay of Suleiman the Magnificent was charged with taking deed and other property and diary documents – sometimes they are more valuable than people. (I built this in to my Xaghra’s Revenge novel). Certainly the hidden caves under innocent houses in Xaghra such as Nina’s Cave existed for thousands of years. No matter the details though, I love the laid back nature of the island. Here are two photographs you could take yourself getting off the bus from VIctoria and snapping away before those locals invite you to share their table and spend a spot of euros on them.
This one on the right is probably Xaghra’s oldest building maybe predating the 1551 abduction.
Who would have thought that a cave is hidden under these houses. Ask for Ninu’s cave and for a few Euros and a light you’ll be down among 60-million-year-old limestone fossils.
This photo below show the elderly in Xaghra, relaxing with local drinks and reflecting on life – maybe on whether to tell this inquisitive historical fiction writer all about the cache of rusty weapons under his house.
So much more and I’ll let you in other blog posts. Meanwhile if you’d like to read Xaghra’s Revenge then from Gozo and most places on Earth it is Amazon you need to go and here’s the links for Kindle and paperback.
NEW LOWER PRICE FOR THE KINDLE. It’s hard competing with the free and 99 c prices that clearly undersell the value of writers’ effort, imagination and pure hard slog. When you see the price for Xaghra’s Revenge just think it took me several years and a lot of travelling to do the research and produce the first draft.
I’ve completed compiling 24 of my more surreal in an INCREMENTAL collection – some of the stories are more mental than incremental but hey ho! Two writers describe them kindly as Kafka-esque. I’m reading one aloud at the Chester Literary Festival on 19th November 2017 around 3pm because View From will also be in a Chester anthology.
Part way through Suppose We, a science fiction novella. LIke Incremental it will be published by LL-Publications
On April 12th my short science fiction story, Locked Out, was published by Perihelion SF magazine and you can read it for FREE athttp://www.perihelionsf.com/1704/fiction_4.htm
On May 1st was the release of the summer magazine of The Horror Zine within which lies my fantasy, Girl in a Wandering Wood. I’d mis-overheard a phrase ‘wandering wood’ – probably wander in a wood, but my brain concocted a story in which a young botanist investigating unusual trees discovered they were closing in on her! You can buy the Kindle for less than a meal deal or the paperback for a bit more at
My newest published book is The Chaos of Mokii published by Solstice Publishing. It is an experimental scifi and takes only half an hour to read. Summed up with: Olga sits in a train but her mind is in Mokii, a city populated entirely by the consciousness of its inhabitants. Once she’s tricked her way past the figmentbouncer she finds fun but also danger. 99 pence http://mybook.to/ChaosOM
A fun illustrated (kind of) book for little children is Timmy the Tornado. pdf copy that can be printed or viewed on your device for £1.50 at https://payhip.com/b/2aj3
Other books of mine including anthologies are at amzn.to/zrC6J6