Symi Dream

Living on a Greek island

A Greek island blog from Symi in the Dodecanese islands of Greece. "James’s great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties..." Anne Zouroudi.

Symi Dream - Living on a Greek island

The Witchling published

The Witchling published

Good morning from a rather wet Symi. We’ve had a lot of rain these last few days and today, Sunday is no exception. We’re hoping it eases off a little later as we are invited to Harani for lunch, and I’d rather walk there than swim there. At least it is warmer than it has been, and we’ve been able to open the living room shutters and doors to help air the house to keep away the damp.

low-resolution muck upToday is mainly about letting you know that ‘The Witchling’ is now available in print as well as in Kindle format, so below is the blurb again, in case you missed it, and some other info that was requested by a book review site – who have already given The Witchling five stars, which I am very happy about. I’ve had a right old wrestle preparing the files for the Kindle version, but I think I’ve got to grips with it. Here is some more info, and a few images of other books you might like to pick up. You can find them all on my Amazon Author Page here.

What is The Witchling?

The Witchling is the second book set in my imaginary village of Saddling, on the Romney Marshes, Kent, England.

Saddling five star times threeThe Witchling is a follow-on from ‘The Saddling.’ You don’t need to read The Saddling first, but you will get more from The Witchling if you do. ‘The Saddling’ has been compared to the cult horror film, The Wicker Man because of its use of superstitions, solstice rituals, mystery and the isolated community. ‘The Witchling’ takes things one stage further.

‘The Saddling’ took the water element, sacrifice and winter solstice as its background. ‘The Witchling’ takes the fire element, acceptance and summer solstice. There’s a mystery to be solved as the story hits the parched ground running and doesn’t let up until the fire-pile is lit. The question is, will Barry be burnt to save Saddling? Or will Tom find a way to rescue him?

Why Romney Marsh?

I was born and brought up ‘in marsh’, as they say in that part of the world and have used the area as a backdrop to a few of my novels. There is no such village as Saddling, but the church you see on the cover and which is used in the story, still exists and you can visit it.


One of the things I have tried to do in these books is use some of the old Kentish dialect. Some of the older characters in the book speak using dialect words (there’s a glossary at the front of the book). There are some words which are still in use on the marsh today, some I have invented for my community at Saddling, and others that come from other parts of Kent, included because I find the dialect fascinating.

Symi Stuf & Nonsense _ebook - smallerJames was born in England (1963) but now lives on the small Greek island of Symi. His daily blog, Symi Dream, gives an insight into everyday island life and has been the basis of four very popular books about his experiences of moving to and living in Greece. One of these carries a foreword by Anne Zouroudi, author of Bloomsbury’s Greek Detective mysteries, who writes: “James’ great talent lies in his careful observation of the absurd and the amusing, the dramas and the difficulties…”

Before moving to Greece James worked in musical theatre, writing and directing several full-length musicals, several revues and many cabaret shows. He has won awards for his theatre and fiction writing including an Arts Council of Great Britain Award for creativity.

The Witchling

The Witchling
An update on the next novel, ‘The Witchling.’

low-resolution muck upJust to let you know that all being well, the next instalment of The Saddling story should be available by the early part of next week. We’ve more or less got the files ready now and all I need to do today is see if I can put them together and into the right order that is needed for the print version of the book and for the Kindle version, and then I can submit them to the process online. This can take a couple of days, so I am hoping they will be fine and I won’t have to make too many changes over the weekend. If it goes smoothly, you should be able to order your copy of The Witchling by Monday or Tuesday – I’ll let you know when it’s out there. Here’s the back blurb:

“The sins of our ancestors have committed us to the flames.”

Saddling is cursed and dying. The village will be lost unless someone burns at the stake on solstice morning. Six months after the life-changing events of The Saddling, Tom Carey must solve the witchling mystery and risk his life to save his lover.

The Witchling is the follow-on to James Collins’ best-selling novel, The Saddling.

Mystery and action combine in a sweltering thriller set on the Romney Marshes.

The witchling kinldeAs you can see, it’s a very short blurb, but I think it holds everything you need to know. We’re back in Saddling, the main characters are still there, there are some new ones, and Tom Carey’s life, although moving forward, is once again in turmoil as he adjusts to life in the village. It’s fast-paced, has intrigue, brings in some history and a mystery (‘family history local mystery’ is one of the themes of these books), and it leaves things open for a third in a series if this one does as well as The Saddling. I’ll leave you with that news now, there will be Symi photos tomorrow, but for now, I must get on with those files so I can finally get this book out of the ‘pending’ tray and move on to something else.

Saddling five star times three