Paul Waters, local author of the thriller Blackwatertown, shared his Special Places with us.
I’m lucky enough to live in the beautiful village of Chalfont St Giles – which means I can wander down the hill to the Deli by the village green. Mark, the owner, has grown it into a great place for a chat and some very tasty food.
This is where one of England’s literary giants, John Milton, dictated his most famous work, Paradise Lost. It’s just up the hill from the Chalfont St Giles village green. Milton invented more words in the English language than anyone else – far more than Shakespeare. His cottage has been authentically preserved and the garden is lovely. As are the well-informed curators. In a world where so much is fake, we’re blessed to have this genuine monument to creativity on our doorstep. I love it.
If you’re hungry, thirsty, dusty and muddy from hiking, or a dog – you’ll find a welcome at the JC. Landlords Chris and Amanda have pulled off the tricky feat of transforming it into a destination for food lovers as well as a thoroughly decent place to drink beer. It’s a free house, so the ales vary. But there’s always some Rebellion on tap. Which keeps me happy. As does shy Sean’s pub quiz on Sunday evenings.
Every author has gotta love a library. I spent happy hours in my local library when I was growing up in Belfast. These days they’re under severe financial pressure. So the volunteers who keep some of them running are heroes. These days my local library looks out on the duck pond in Chalfont St Giles. (That’s volunteer Mike Foxton who helps run the library in the doorway.)
I grew up in Belfast and try to visit Grianan “the stone palace of the sun” whenever I’m back. It’s just over the border in beautiful County Donegal. It’s an Iron-Age stone cashel, or fort. It’s on top of a hill and can be windy, but the 360 degree views are spectacular.
JACS in Amersham
I don’t go out much for coffee, so when I do, I want to be sure to enjoy it. Which is why I drink it in the happy surroundings of JACS – which stands for Just Another Coffee Shop. Which it isn’t.
The Village Chippy
And finally – I should probably talk about how often I eat at the Ivy. (Never.) But I can tell you where to find the best fish and chips locally. The Village Chippy at Three Households in Chalfont St Giles, with proprietor Paul presiding over the fryers.
Thanks Paul for sharing your special places with us….You can pledge towards a pre-order of the dark thriller Blackwatertown, by Paul Waters, and get your name in the paperback or ebook, by clicking on this link: https://unbound.com/books/blackwatertown/
Maverick cop Jolly Macken goes looking for a killer, but accidentally starts a war
Police sergeant Jolly Macken finds it hard to tell his friends from his enemies. When he’s banished to the quiet Irish border village of Blackwatertown in the 1950s, Macken vows to solve a mysterious death – even if the killer turns out to be another officer. But a lot can happen in a week. Over seven days Macken falls in love with the bewitchingly beautiful Aoife, uncovers family secrets, accidentally starts a war and is hailed a hero and hounded as a traitor.
When Blackwatertown explodes into violence, who can Macken trust? Which side should he take? Are anyone’s hands clean – even his own? And is betrayal the only way to survive?
Blackwatertown has been described as LA Confidential meets The Guard. Legendary thriller writer Frederick Forsyth, author of The Day of the Jackal, says Blackwatertown is “a fascinating story with intricate twists and turns” and that Macken’s “position as a Catholic police officer in hardline Unionist RUC is extremely intriguing.” BBC Radio 4 presenter Rev Richard Coles describes Blackwatertown as “extraordinary, abundant, dazzling and full of incident.” Readers say it’s “exciting”, “moving”, “funny”.