The Mod Stories

The Mod Stories the informal title I’ve given a series of stories about characters of mine who identify themselves with the Mod subculture. The first book to really feature these characters in-depth is New Dance: A Modern Romance, published in June of 2009; the primary characters in the first book are Gary “Gaz” Donaghue (briefly appearing in and sparsely developed in my first novel, Simple Man), Alice Reagan, Jason “Jace” Hanvey, and Henri “Nino” Mitropoulos. The story follows Gaz, who is home from the United States and struggling to return to his life in Belfast, Jace, who is newly out as gay and the new singer of a Mod Revival band, The Street Urchins.

A supplemental comic to New Dance with illustrations by Canadian comic artist Susie Beeca was commissioned in 2010. The comic’s story is the full version of Jace coming out to his friends.

The second novel (hopefully to be released by mid-2013) is Let Your Heart Dance, a light-hearted novella set in 1958 and about Nino’s parents, pre-Ready! Steady! Go! first-generation Mods, Marie Monfa-Mitropoulou, an accountant, and Spiros Mitropoulos, an apprentice tailor; both nineteen, newly married, expecting their only child, and living in London with Spiros’ parents. The story also features a younger Owain Shaunnessey, proprietor of the club Back Street in New Dance, in ’58, he’s a Gaelic-speaking homosexual, outcast from his family’s home in Belfast, and living in the Mitropoulos family’s spare room. The story also introduces Colin Gow, Owain’s lover and one of the early Teddy Boys to morph into a Rocker.

A third book (worked on alongside Let Your Heart Dance, but hopefully finished by December of 2013) is Peacocks & Fairies, and is a novel of episodes. Peacocks & Fairies introduces Margaid “Paaie” Quirk and Dubhán Congalaig, friends of Nino’s, and Selema Bulsara, Dougan Hanvey’s girlfriend. The story follows the band’s evolution, as well as that of its members. This is also the book where I make it clear that the world these stories are set in is an alternate version of our own reality, because I found it made the Quirk family more interesting for me to write about if the Isle of Man didn’t thoroughly convert to Christianity, and some fantasy elements are also introduced.

A fourth book is in the works, title to be announced.