Monday, 27 January 2020

Blog Tour: Extract from Bella by RM Francis



I'm very excited to be part of the blog tour today for Bella by RM Francis. I have an extract to share with you today and you can read all about the author, including their social media links below that. First, here's what it's all about...

A spectre has haunted Netherton for generations.

Everyone has a theory, no one has an answer.
The woods that frame the housing estate uncover a series of heinous acts, drawing onlookers into a space of clandestine, queer sexuality: a liminal space of abject and uncanny experience.

A question echoes in the odd borderlands of being, of fear-fascination, attraction-repulsion, of sex and death…

Who put Bella down the Wych-Elm?


And here's that extract for you...

See, ‘round ‘ere weem always lookin’ back. Weem built from what come before us. Chains, steel, nails. Soot an’ smoke in the skies. Most of iss gone now. We’ve still got red bricks an’ concrete, corrugated metal an’ all that. But we ay got forges. We ay got mystic blacksmiths. We’ve got almost-barren high streets. We’ve got slick, glass, brass an’ plastic we’ve built over the works with – stockin’ rows ‘a dead ‘eaded credit controllers, PPI reps, retail consultants. We’ve got Merry Hill – an indoor town that spreads out in sanitised pound-zones. Then there’s what’s left-over. Little dry suburbs that sink between ‘ills, where dead factories am wrapped in weeds, an’ big ‘ousin’ estates, all wet an’ grey, an’ all punctured in electric light – them no go zones unless you’m from theya – each zone ‘as iss own ‘alf deserted Labour club, iss own brand ‘a menacin’ teen, iss own birr’a cut or brook or strange patch ‘a green land that mopes between a terrace row an’ the mechanic’s.     

Tony was wi’ me an’ ‘e sid it. 
Pokin’ out through a crack in the curb was a thin, green vine, an’ on the vine were tiny green tomatoes. Tony said it was like Detroit, ‘ow it was once the biggest industrial hub in the US, ‘ow nature ‘ad started to claim back the city now it’d run iss course. There was summat frightnin’ about that: it come out ‘a the ground, thass what them meant to do, but the ground was meant to be controlled by us, not weeds. I wondered what else was lurkin’ under our industry, waitin’ to come back. It med me think of Saltwells an’ where wid play when we was kids.     
Who put Bella down the Wych-Elm?

About the Author 


R. M. Francis is a writer from Dudley. He completed his PhD at the University of Wolverhampton for a project titled Queering the Black Country and graduated from Teesside University for his Creative Writing MA.
 
He's the author of four poetry chapbooks, Transitions (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2015), Orpheus (Lapwing Publications, 2016), Corvus' Burnt-Wing Love Balm and Cure-All (The Black Light Engine Room Press, 2018) and Lamella, (Original Plus, 2019).
 
Follow Rob on Twitter @rmfrancis





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