Giving Abused Children a Voice. The Abattoir of Dreams.

My third novel, The Abattoir of Dreams, was inspired by news that a high-profile figure had been named by a man in his forties as his abuser in a children’s home. Subsequently, the man said he’d made a mistake – no one leaning on him there, then– the whole case was dropped. This made my blood boil. This poor guy had obviously been through hell as a child, and all these years later, the authorities still slammed the door in his face.

There are so many cases of both historical and current child abuse. The case of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home on Jersey, brought to light a catalogue of abuse – sexual, physical and psychological, stretching back to the end of the second world war. Eight people have been prosecuted for 145 offences and seven men and women have been convicted. Many more alleged offenders, some now dead, have been identified by almost 200 former residents.

A forensics tent at the former Haut de la Garenne children’s home in St Martin, Jersey, in 2008. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

The investigation also found there was a culture of fear on Jersey. Residents were afraid to come forward with criticism or information because they were living so closely to those they were accusing. Bob Hill, a former member of the states assembly – Jersey’s parliament, said people had long been afraid to report the abuse because they did not trust that any allegations would be treated in confidence. Continue reading

Canine Characters in Fiction

Many fictional books include canine characters. They can end up being as popular with readers as their human counterparts. They can evoke a range of emotions, and for those of us who have enjoyed the company of dogs, remind us of those relationships.

In The Abattoir of Dreams, 14-year-old Michael rescues a dog he sees tied up in a yard, adopts him and names him Oxo. This boy and dog partnership created quite an emotional response in readers, with many commenting on it in their reviews.
For example:

‘I have to mention briefly Michael’s relationship with his childhood pet Oxo as well as Liam who he befriends in the boys home. These relationships moved me to tears and are ones that will stay with me for a long time to come.’
(From a review by Sarah Hardy.)

Oxo – although I’m a dog lover – I don’t usually mention animals in my reviews – but seriously – Oxo the dog – the scenes with him and Michael melted my heart – I was literally mush reading them!
(From a review by Sharon Bairdon.)

Every single character will evoke an emotion for one reason or another and that includes Oxo, Michael’s dog.
(From A review by Neats Wilson.)

When I was 8 years old, I overheard that a puppy was due to be put down after its elderly owner couldn’t look after it any more. All day I begged and pleaded with my parents to let me have the puppy. I couldn’t bare the thought of it being put down. The begging worked and Cindy was brought home. Continue reading

A Year Ago Today.

Today marks the first anniversary of the publication of The Abattoir of Dreams. It’s been a great year! The Ben Whittle Investigations were re-launched, and The Liar’s Promise was published last November. I’m now looking forward to the publication of The Key to Death’s Door on 1st May.

Huge thanks to everyone at Bloodhound Books who do such a great job at supporting and encouraging all of their authors. And to all the readers and bloggers who have been so supportive.

Here’s the book description for The Abattoir of Dreams and some of it’s reviews:

 

Book Description:
The past is never far away.

Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.

With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.

But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

The Abattoir of Dreams is a bitter sweet story of murder, innocence and abuse.

 

Review Quotes:

There is a supernatural(ish) element through the book, which appears to be a side affect of severe head trauma. To that extent, it kind of reminded me a little bit of Stephen King’s ‘Duma Key’ and what happened to Edgar Freemantle after his head trauma. With Michael Tate (our protagonist) we really don’t know if it is real, imaginary, or just the way he manages to cope with his returning memory.
5* from Steve Robb, BookieWookie.

I so admire this book and the author for writing it; not that it’s an easy read, emotionally, as the author masterfully puts the reader through the mill, but it is justified. It’s an exceptionally powerful, well-constructed book, with a story that needed to be told. It reeks of authenticity, more’s the pity. The use of the afterlife in the plot is skillful, beautifully effective and credible. It’s rare for my heart to pound with excitement or fear whilst reading a thriller, but this book made me sweat with concern over the fate of the hero, Mikey. 5* from Joy Mutter, author.

This is a difficult book to define. It seems to have a little bit of everything, and it doesn’t fit neatly into any one genre. If you love suspense novels, you’ll enjoy it. If you love novels with supernatural elements, then you’ll enjoy it. If you love family saga’s, then you’ll enjoy it. There are also small elements of horror and romance. It’s a book that slips easily between all these different genres, making is truly unique.
4* from Kim Ebner, The Buzzing Bookmark.

It’ll horrify you, upset you, and hopefully open your eyes – at times the horror (of a very human kind) is relentless, but then again, perhaps it is in reality too, although we might like to think otherwise. It’s a book that once read cannot be forgotten, it’s a triumph for Tilbury and cements the fact that in reading his books, I’m on a journey with a very talented author. 5* from Shani Struthers, author.

Mark Tilbury has written a roller coaster of a crime thriller for sure, but this novel is also a rich and harrowing story of the psychology of evil and those who strive to stop it, this is certainly one read that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. Mark Tilbury is a new author (this is where I kick myself) to me but this certainly won’t be the last book I read by this author. If you enjoy a crime thriller that isn’t the norm and you don’t mind a disturbing read then this book is definitely one you don’t want to miss.
5* from Lorraine Rugman, The Book Review Cafe.

 

If you’d like to find out more about The Abattoir of Dreams you can find it here on Amazon.

As always, thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes,

Mark.

Poetry in Fiction – The Abattoir of Dreams.

I used poetry in The Abattoir of Dreams to explore one of the character’s feelings about the situation he was in and the abusive experiences he’d been through. The poem is written by 14 year-old Liam, who shares it with the main character, Mikey, when they run away from Woodside Children’s Home. The poem was also the inspiration for the title of the book.

Here is the poem in full:

How I wish I could feel,
The hot sun on my back,
Fresh cut grass,
Beneath my feet,
My father’s hand,
Strong upon mine,
His aftershave,
Bottled nostalgia,
Promises of tomorrow,
Safe within his smile,
But the night stalker comes,
Cloaked in shadows,
The sound of his heels,
Marking time on the floor,
His stinking breath,
Whispering threats,
You’d better not tell,
You’d better not scream,
No one can hear you,
In the Abattoir of Dreams.

I felt the poem helped to explain exactly how Liam saw Woodside, and how it made him feel. His poetry also acted as inspiration for Mikey.

When used in the right way/place, poetry can work really well in fiction. Other novels that have used poetry successfully are: Continue reading

Thanks for a Successful Blog Tour!

The Abattoir of Dreams blog tour has recently finished, and I just wanted to say a BIG thank you to all 21 bloggers who took part. You all gave up your time to read, review, share extracts, and share your reviews across social media. All this done for the love of books, and for free. You all helped to spread the word about the book, and encouraged people to buy and read it. Words can’t express how much I appreciate your support.

I also wanted to share the reviews from the blog tour, so below is a list of all the bloggers who took part, and a link to their review of The Abattoir of Dreams.

Noelle, blogging at https://crimebookjunkie.co.uk/2017/02/the-abattoir-of-dreams-blog-tour-review/

Sarah Hardy, blogging at https://bytheletterbookreviews.com/2017/02/23/the-abattoir-of-dreams-by-mark-tilbury/

Sarah Kenny, blogging at https://sarahjk79.wixsite.com/thegreatbritishbook/single-post/2017/02/23/The-Abbatoir-of-Dreams  Continue reading