Woodville Parish Council

Welcome to Woodville

A village in Kent that you won’t find on any map.
Witch-Free Since 1973

Welcome to the Woodville Village Parish Council ‘home page’

All you need to know about the strange events in the village of Woodville as chronicled by local author of some little renown Mr Mark Stay (website now under the administration of Woodville Village Head Librarian Miss Araminta Cranberry)

You can buy The Crow Folk from all the finest purveyors of books, maps and stationery. Or pre-order the second thrilling instalment — Babes in the Wood — coming in October 2021. Just visit the Village Bookshop here.

A recent videogram recorded by local author Mr Stay

Parish Notices

All the latest news and village gossip will be posted here.

Words To Cut To Make Your Prose More Punchy

Words To Cut To Make Your Prose More Punchy

Want to make your prose more punchy? Try cutting a few of those filler and filter words. Note: these aren’t hard and fast rules. Of course you can use adjectives and adverbs whenever you like. But if you’re editing, it’s not a bad idea to trim as many as possible....

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You’ve Written “The End”… Now What?

You’ve Written “The End”… Now What?

I finished the first draft of my novel this week... but what happens next? Jump right in to edit? Or... https://youtu.be/WUrCXDpcNbA TRANSCRIPT: Hello, folks, I typed these beautiful words earlier this week... (The End) Of course, this is nothing like the end. This is...

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Become a member of the library to receive free books and pamphlets. Simply sign-up to our newsletter here if you wish to receive, amongst other things:

  • An excerpt of The Crow Folk with a special and exclusive introduction from Araminta Cranberry (Miss), Head Librarian of the Woodville Village Library
  • Miss Burgess’ recipe for jam roly-poly (available now!)
  • Mrs Teach’s Seance (available now!)
  • I’ll See You In My Dreams – Part One of the Miss Charlotte Quartet (available now!)
  • The Last Night of the Witchfinder General — Part Two of the Miss Charlotte Quartet (available now!)
  • The Druid at Thieves Holm — Part Three of the Miss Charlotte Quartet — (available now!)
  • The Memory Thief — Part Four of the Miss Charlotte Quartet — (available now!)
  • An exclusive excerpt from the second book Babes in the Wood (coming soon!)

Click on the images below to view what’s available in the Woodville Village Library…

The Village Bookshop

Specialising in titles of local interest

The Crow Folk

The Witches of Woodville 1

‘Extremely funny, full of imagination, verve and typical English ‘home counties’ wit and if you like Dad’s Army (who doesn’t?), you’ll love it’Irish Independent 

Faye Bright always felt a little bit different. And today she’s found out why. She’s just stumbled across her late mother’s diary which includes not only a spiffing recipe for jam roly-poly, but spells, incantations, runes and recitations . . . a witch’s notebook.

And Faye has inherited her mother’s abilities.

Just in time, too. The Crow Folk are coming. Led by the charismatic Pumpkinhead, their strange magic threatens Faye and the villagers. Armed with little more than her mum’s words, her trusty bicycle, the grudging help of two bickering old ladies, and some aggressive church bellringing, Faye will find herself on the front lines of a war nobody expected.

For fans of Lev Grossman and Terry Pratchett comes this delightful novel of war, mystery and a little bit of magic . 

Praise for The Crow Folk

‘Swept me straight back to days of losing myself in Diana Wynne Jones novels, and getting lost in truly absorbing, sometimes scary, sometimes emotive adventure with its roots in folklore and history. A story that is full of magic and delight that will thrill readers of any age’Rowan Coleman, author of The Girl at the Window

‘Stay has brewed a cracking blend of charm and creepiness in The Crow Folk. A rip-roaring tale of bravery and witchcraft on the wartime home front, expertly told with lashings of wit and warmth’Pernille Hughes, author of Probably the Best Kiss in the World 

‘A delightful mash-up of Dad’s Army and Charmed. An absolute treat’CK McDonnell, author of Stranger Times

‘Warm, witty, witchy wartime fun. With Mark Stay as writer you’re always guaranteed a magical read’Julie Wassmer, author of the Whitstable Pearl Mysteries

‘You’ll love it: Doctor Who meets Worzel GummidgeLorna Cook, author of The Forgotten Village

‘A jolly romp with witches, demons, and bellringing. Pratchett fans will enjoy this, and Faye is a feisty and fun hero. Dad’s Army meets Witches of EastwickIan W Sainsbury

 

Babes In The Wood

The Witches of Woodville 2

Coming in October 2021!

Behold the delicious cover art from the splendid Mr Harry Goldhawk!

July, 1940

Fleeing the Nazi blitzkrieg, a trio of Kindertransport children come to stay with Lady Aston at Hayward Lodge in Woodville. Their arrival triggers a murder mystery involving a magic apple tree, modern art, a U-boat, and a demonic hound. Faye Bright must play nanny to the terrified children while gathering clues to uncover the dark magic that threatens to change the course of the war.

For fans of Lev Grossman and Terry Pratchett comes the second novel in this delightful trilogy of war, mystery and a little bit of magic . . .

Other Books by Mr Stay

Local author Mr Stay has written other books, though we cannot vouch for the contents having heard reports of indecency and foul language.

The End of Magic

Two powerful mages. One steeped in privilege, the other bound by a moral code. Their world is thrown into chaos by the end of magic.

Rosheen Katell is a wandering mage and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.

Sander Bree is a royal mage. He lives an easy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, but dreams of an apocalypse are giving him massive anxiety attacks.

Very soon, their magic will be gone. A cataclysmic event will change their lives and world forever. Sander must keep a promise to save the life of a young girl that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Both will be set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before, in this sweeping fantasy of magic’s ending.

A stand alone fantasy novel for readers of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch

Praise for The End of Magic:

“The sort of book you give to people who say “prove to me why I should read fantasy”… A simply terrific read.”
James Barclay, author of the Legends of the Raven series

“Mark Stay paints his world and characters with deft, confident and dark strokes.”
RJ Barker, author of the Wounded Kingdom Trilogy

“Takes the tropes of high fantasy and uses them to wield an original, compelling and intricately plotted story… exactly the kind of fantasy that we need more of.”
Gavin G. Smith, author of the Veteran series

“Stay does for George RR Martin what Pratchett did for Tolkien.”
Julian Barr, author of The Way Home

Back to Reality

The Bestselling ‘90s nostalgia time travel comedy

Jo’s world is about to change forever, and it’s about time

Her marriage is on auto-pilot, daughter hates her, job sucks and it’s not even Tuesday.

As Jo’s life implodes, a freak event hurls her back to ‘90s Los Angeles where, in a parallel universe, she’s about to hit the big time as a rock star.

Jo has to choose between her dreams and her family in an adventure that propels her from London to Hollywood then Glastonbury, the world’s greatest music festival.

Jo encounters a disgraced guru, a movie star with a fetish for double-decker buses, and the biggest pop star in the world… who just happens to want to kill her.

Back to Reality is a funny, heartwarming story about second chances, with a heroine to rival Bridget Jones and the rock n roll nostalgia of Keith A Pearson.

The novel from the Bestseller Experiment podcast presenters Mark Stay and Mark Desvaux. The Two Marks went to more gigs in the ’90s than in any other decade and are currently working on a time machine to see Prince in concert.

Praise for Back to Reality:

“Like if Nick Hornby wrote a time travel, body swap adventure!”
New York Times bestselling author Mimi Strong

“A compelling story where the comedy compliments the drama and keeps you turning the page… A delight.”
Caimh McDonnell, Bestselling author of The Dublin Trilogy

“Doctor Who meets Freaky Friday at Glastonbury. With added cow. Escapist SF fun for everyone who wants to scratch their Terry Pratchett itch.”
Ian W Sainsbury, Winner of the Kindle Storyteller Award 2019

“A miraculous, laugh-out-loud journey to a past never lived. Original and captivating!”
Keith A Pearson

Robot Overlords

Stay in your homes. You are under quarantine.

Three years ago, Earth was conquered by a force of robots from a distant world. This was their one rule.

Ignore the order to self-isolate and you’re sure to be vaporised by a massive robot Sentry, or a crawling Sniper, or a flying Drone. That’s if the vast Cube doesn’t incinerate you first.

But Sean Flynn is convinced that his father – an RAF pilot who fought in the war – is still alive. And when he and his gang figure out a way to break the robots’ curfew, they begin an adventure that will pit them against the might of the ROBOT OVERLORDS.

This fast-paced, thrilling novelisation is based on the hit British film starring Sir Ben Kingsley (IRON MAN THREE), Gillian Anderson (THE X-FILES) and Callan McAuliffe (THE GREAT GATSBY). A perfect companion to the movie, it expands on the story with additional action, characters, and a special peek behind the scenes.

This is the perfect book to let your mind escape these days of self isolation.

Praise for Robot Overlords:

“Fun, entertaining read with snappy, realistic dialogue…. a blockbuster pace that will entertain early teens upwards and sci-fi fans alike.”
Following the Nerd

“Robot Overlords is an easy read, but it’s not a light tale. Deliciously scary in all the right places, it’s a compelling book. Like all good novelisations, it adds an extra dimension to a story already told in another medium. Recommended, especially if you like giant robot-driven dystopias.”
Starburst

“Enjoyable, entertaining, and sometimes surprisingly dark, Robot Overlords is a great read whether you’re a young adult, a young-at-heart adult, or even a miserable old man in an adult’s body (like me!).”
The Cult Den

“Such a cracking story – one which might literally blow your socks off.”
The Book Plank

“His characters come to life instantly, practically jumping off the page, all you need to know to care about them sketched in a few simple but always well-chosen words.”
Crime Review

Correspond with the author

(and more for the Curious)

Contact Mr Stay with your praise, complaints and general queries here.

Mr Stay has a blog here.

You can find him on social media:

He can also be heard inspiring writers with Mark Desvaux on The Bestseller Experiment podcast.