Wyrd Sisters Publishing News

Wyrd Sisters Publishing proudly presents the series Tales of Bowdyn which trace the history of the peoples of Atland, the land rediscovered beneath the North Sea.

This series is in five parts and is still under development.


Volume 4. (In process of development and entitled
Atland the Lost) follows the Folk, hunter gatherers living a free life under the guidance of the Council of Mothers.

As the land disappears below the waters of the melting glaciers to the north they are forced to migrate to the high land to east and west.

There they find they must fight or die, that their free hunter gatherer life is lost and that they must change their roaming life style to one forever surrounded by high wooden walls; that they must learn from their enemies how to survive, or perish. ( anticipated publication end of 2015)


Volume 1.
The Axe the Shield and the Triton (Published)
The Folk are long settled in the fortified East Holding. Atland is just a legend told and sung by the Chieftains scop.

Gewis, the chieftain Baeldaeg's son, secretly in love with his elder brother's betrothed Elwine, runs away from the East Holding, seeking service in some Lords war band.

Fate has other ideas and he finds himself in North Africa as part of the Vandal navy. Rising over the years to a position of some power he returns home to the East Holding and along the way becomes immensely rich.

He is able to save his folk and the widowed Elwine, from famine and the encroaching Danings, by planning and financing their migration to post Roman Britannia, to the east coast long inhabited by people of the same blood, long ago migrants from Atland.

Driven by storms they land far from their planned destination, amongst strangers in South West Britannia, where again they must fight or die.

Volume 2
The Axe the Shield and the Halig Rood (Published)
The Folk ally themselves with the local warlord Cerdic, Dux of Durnovaria and become embroiled in the endless local wars between petty chiefdoms.

In exchange for their alliance they receive land on which they build a new settlement. They become the Gewissae, 'the trusted ones' and intermingle with the Durotriges, the ancient inhabitants of their new land.

Creoda, the nephew of Gewis, suffers many tragic losses before becoming Cerdic's successor as King, over the growing land of Wessex.


Volume 3
Edith ( Published) follows the Folk as they lose their hard won land to conquest by the ruthless and cruel Duke William of Normandy. This is the story of the consequences of Hastings: the tragedy of Edith Swanneschals, Harold II's wife by a heathen ceremony; the story of the English resistance after Hastings and its bloody suppression; the attempted genocide of the English people of the north by a ruthless invader.


Volume 5
Wothans Army ( in concept) skips a half millennium to the freeing of the country from the tyranny of Rome and the English civil war where the Folk finally regain those freedoms lost with the melting of the ice edge as the power of the monarchy is destroyed. Anticipated publication end of 2016


About the Author

James Hockey combined a career as a seaman with that of educator.

Over a period of 50 years he has served as Captain on many merchant ships.
As an educator he has been lecturer, Head of a Navigation and Maritime studies Department, Principal of two FE Colleges and on retirement trained as a college inspector.

Retired he now divides his time between his beloved West Country and a home in the sun on the Nature Coast of Florida. Here he works at studying Creative Writing with the Open University and obsessing over writing and publishing his Epic story of The Folk.

He says, '
The Historical Novel Society

The HNS is the gold standard for the review of historical fiction. I thought it would be informative to include some of the nice things they have said about the series so far.

The Axe the Shield and the Triton, Tales of Bowdyn 1

For the most part this novel is beautifully written, descriptive and emotionally engaging. Author James Hockey has used a multilayered narrative that explores two settings—17th and 5th centuries—to interesting effect. The novel is clearly well-researched, and Hockey effectively communicates the grim reality of life in olden times…… This is one of the better self-published novels seen this year.

The Axe the Shield and the Halig Rood, Tales of Bowdyn 2

This is an imaginative re-drawing of Dark Age Britain in the late 5thC AD,
This is the ‘age of Arthur’ and Hockey has created an original and entirely plausible version of this giant of myth.
Presented as a story within a story, this feels like a saga in the vein of Beowulf.
I look forward to seeing how the saga develops as Hockey’s blend of myth, history, archaeology and folklore evokes a sense of time and place that sites comfortably with someone raised with tales of the evolution of the English (and British) psyche.

Edith Fair as a Swan, Tales of Bowdyn 3

The book is very well written, beautifully descriptive and, for the main part, based on fact. Edith does appear to disappear after Hastings, and her daughter, Gytha, who is part of this tale, certainly did marry a Prince in Eastern Europe: Hockey cleverly tells the story with great plausibility.