May 19 2013 Latest news:
John Phillips , Senior Reporter
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Former Post reporter Keith Austin has unveiled his debut novel, Grymm, a tale of teenage horror published by Random House.
Here, we catch up with the ex Fleet Street journalist to discuss the gruesome story he describes as the long-lost love child of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton.
Cub reporter Keith Austin was 20 when he began a journalistic career at the Barking and Dagenham Post after working at a pie and mash shop in Bethnal Green.
The newshound moved to the East London Advertiser then daily newspapers in a career that propelled him to the national media, spending time at The Sun, Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times before emigrating to Sydney, Australia.
The seasoned journalist has edited good pub food guides and cookbooks down under and flew back to London for the publication of his first young adult fiction novel, which is part of a two-book deal with Random House imprint Red Fox.
Grymm is a dark, nightmarish story about two teenage siblings teaming up to find out what happened to their missing six-month-old half brother in a scary mining town on the edge of a desert.
The town is full of weird and wonderful inhabitants including the creepy butcher Cleaver Flay, Thespa Grymm the grotesque letting agent, a cafe owner whose milkshakes contain maggots and Inky Bugleslab the newsagent.
The children, Jacob, 12, and Mina, 14, hate each other but not as much as they hate their half brother Bryan who vanishes from the face of the earth as his parents deny his existence.
Despite their mutual hatred they are forced to band together to find out what happened to the toddler on a journey that sees them encounter frightening animals including a two-legged dog and one-legged chicken.
Random House says Keith Austin has written a nightmarish tale punctuated with pitch-black humour that is scarily real and will have kids reading in appalled fascination.
Keith, 54, said: “The story was inspired by a re-reading of the original Brothers Grimm stories.
“I decided to write something along those lines but try to create a horror story set in bright sunlight because I now live in Australia.
“I like to describe the book as the long-lost love child of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton.”
Keith will sign copies of the book at a weekly book fair in Goldsmith’s Row, Bethnal Green, on July 15 from 1pm.
Grymm retails for £6.99. For more information, log on to randomhouse.co.uk