It’ll sound strange, ridiculous even, to someone who has never had the misfortune of visiting the city…but the whole place is alive. The crumbling buildings, the huge sandstone blocks that form the walls, the wild eyed statuettes that adorn every house, temple and shop. They emit a hum. No, perhaps hum isn’t quite right. A feeling would be more accurate. A kaleidoscope of senses. During the day you can push it to the back of your mind. You can keep it at bay. But night’s a different matter. Your consciousness is disarmed, voices invade your brain. Dark shapes appear in your dreams. Faces. Shadows. Glowing red eyes. Some nights I fancy I see Jimao’s face. No, not the temple. The real Jimao, alive and of flesh.
Dr Richard Rigby-Smith, 18–
Andrew Willmer is the author of The Temple.
Born and raised in a leafy London suburb, Andrew’s first forays into writing consisted of illustrating comic books before he progressed onto appalling space operas! These days he focuses his attention on historical fiction and short stories. Aside from writing, Andrew’s main interests are losing money on the stock market, breeding leopard geckos and speaking terrible French. He is currently writing more Henry Chiswick adventures.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I suppose Chiswick started out as a kind of Indiana Jones type character. However, I was keen to try and do something darker and make him a bit more world weary and jaded. As for the setting, I wanted to play around with the idea of this alternate historical reality and just see where that took me.