Local author’s latest entry in the North Coast Bloodlines series

Author Philip Henry’s new novel, Method is released this week and marks his return to the genre after a gap of seven years.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:22 pm

Author Philip Henry’s new novel, Method is released this week and marks his return to the genre after a gap of seven years.

Regular readers were used to seeing a new book every year from this Portstewart writer, so why did this one take so long?

Philip explains: “In 2014 I released my ninth novel, Dreamwalker. Then I got all my old short stories together, and wrote a few new ones, and put out that collection as Head in the Clouds. That was ten books I had in print, and that seemed like a good time to take a breather.”

Author Philip Henry

The author, best known for his stories of vampires, ghosts and the supernatural, decided to go a completely different direction and pen a children’s book. Under the pseudonym BB Phelps, he wrote The Exploration Station, featuring his niece and nephews as the heroes.

“It was originally just going to be a short story for the kids, but it kept growing,” Philip says.

“I used a lot of the characters and elements we would come up with when we’d play together, and then I just created a story that tied them all together. It was great fun to write.”

Along with Philip’s new novel for grown-ups, the concluding part of his Exploration Station trilogy: The Dreamland, is also released this week.

“The kids liked the first book so much, they immediately started throwing ideas at me for what should be in the next one, and the next one. I couldn’t say no, could I?” Philip smiles.

Apart from The Exploration Station books, BB Phelps has also produced a book of modern fables called New Century Fairytales, giving the author’s alter-ego a total of four books now in print.

But as much as Philip enjoyed the light-hearted distraction of goblins, fairies and pixies, he was still drawn back to more macabre subject matter.

“Method is a book I’d been thinking about writing even before I became a writer,” Philip says.

“I had this idea about an actor who takes method acting to extremes and will go to any lengths to become the character he’s meant to be playing. So if he’s playing a boxer, he’d learn to box. If he’s playing a drug addict, he’d take drugs. And if he’s playing a murderer….”

The longer Philip let the idea gestate, the more possibilities he had for the story. “I finally just said to myself, what are you waiting for? Write this book!”

“The release of Method feels like the start of a new phase in my writing, so I took the opportunity to do a rebrand of all my previous titles, with new covers to reflect this,” Philip says.

“Now they’re all part of one big series – The North Coast Bloodlines – and Method is book eleven in that series, and book twelve is already begun.”

Like all Philip’s books, Method has a strong north coast connection. The protagonist of the story, Sean Black is from Portstewart and sections of the story take place in Derry. The book follows Sean’s climb up the acting ladder and his descent into madness.

After being the standout talent of his class, Sean Black finds the acting world hard to break into on a professional level. Then a chance meeting with another actor convinces him if he wants to play a part, he has to live that part.

As his career begins to take off, Sean doesn’t shy away from experiencing everything his character would in order to find the truth in his performance. But who is he when he’s not in character? Does he even know anymore? As the roles get bigger and the parts get darker, the risks he must take get greater.

Sean won’t stop, but he must be stopped, because there’s madness in his method.

Method is available now from all good online retailers as a paperback, ebook and audiobook.

Links for where to buy all Philip’s books, including his children’s books, can be found on the author’s website: www.philiphenry.com