Shoreham author offers latest book in his Charlie Green series

Charlie Green and the Gods of Pompeii is the fourth book in the time-travelling adventures of Charlie Green.

Shoreham author Martyn Blunden
Shoreham author Martyn Blunden

The book comes from Shoreham author Martyn Blunden and is available from bookshops, Amazon and direct from Troubador.

Martyn, aged 64, explains: “Charlie travels back in time in all his adventures to meet historical characters and help them overcome a difficult situation. I am a retired pilot – although still teaching commercial pilot ground studies – and love history, so I combined both passions to conjure up a historical fiction adventure novel for children and young adults. Charlie has access to a magical time-travelling aeroplane that can take him anywhere in history, in which he embarks on adventures with his siblings and friend.

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“As well as the appeal to young people who are perhaps starting out with their first chapter book, there is something for the adult reader too who may read together with their children. The original idea also fostered the thought of a young person learning about history without actually being taught. At the back of each book I list details of the real historical characters I have used in the story and any other areas they may like to further research.

“When conceiving the first book, I used my local area for inspiration as to the setting of the Green’s new family home in the country. I grew up in Steyning and went to Steyning Grammar School, and although the Greens live in a small village, they often visit a nearby town that any who live there will see the similarities with my home town! Particularly the Church Street area.

“The primary reader that I am aiming at is the nine to 13 year age group and to do so I thought back to the books I enjoyed as a boy. A main inspiration from that period was The Time Machine by H G Wells as well as Stig of the Dump by Clive King, which I remember clearly to this day. Writing for children allows me the privilege of drifting back to those childhood memories and the romance of adventure.

“I have written several technical articles in my aviation career – including two published aircraft guides – but about seven years ago I started to think about writing a novel. I thought this might be something I could continue to do when I retired.

“During my career as a flying instructor and examiner of pilots, I often had quiet moments to look down on the world below and imagine what might being going on – in what appears at altitude to be a model village.

“And then, through watching my two young daughters at play, remembered how I too used to daydream as a child and imagine all sorts of adventures. Another childhood programme that gave me some ideas was the cartoon animation Mr Benn.

“I love writing in the garden, or outside when on holiday. Where others choose to read, I write!”

This is the fourth book in a series of adventures for Charlie: “The first, Charlie Green and the Pirate’s Treasure tells the story of how Charlie came to discover the magical time-travelling aeroplane secreted away on a deserted airfield next the home he and his family had recently moved to – despite strict instructions from his mother not to venture onto the airfield. The adventure takes them on a journey to find the previous owner who, by misfortune, is stuck in the 17th century at the mercy of ruthless pirates.

“The second, Charlie Green and the Underground Railroad, sees them on the trail of the heroine Harriet Tubman. Written two years before the recent publicity of the film of her life – Harriet – it brings the plight her life and others like her to a young audience in a sympathetic way. Charlie’s reason to find her was to help her free her sister from slavery – something, in real life, she failed to do. It takes them right into the middle of the American Civil War and at one-point Charlie puts the whole journey in jeopardy by his friendly conversation with a stranger.

“The third, Charlie Green and the Knights of the Round Table, takes Charlie and his friends to try and meet King Arthur at his castle in Camelot. After discovering some long-lost details of the fall of Camelot and the breakdown of the friendship King Arthur has with his most favoured knight Sir Lancelot, Charlie sets out to defeat the wicked forces that were at play in the downfall of Camelot. But in the mystical era of Camelot many obstacles stand in his way and the help of the great wizard Merlin is required if they are to succeed.”