genres: fiction, drama
About the Author
Jeff Hopkins (1950) is a retired schoolteacher. He lives in Western Australia with his black Labrador dog, Sammy. As the drama master at a private boys’ school he wrote eleven original musical plays and produced and directed them at the school.
In 1992 he researched and wrote a family history, Life’s Race Well Run, and after retiring in 2006 he has written nine novels:
The Spiv: The Robbie Sparrow Story (2015)
Benedict Lovelace and the Travelling Show (2016)
Rocking Horse Rider (2016)
The Hydrographer: The Clyde Steadman Story (2017) and
Lord Gnarl (2017).
Jeff previously maintained he wrote entirely for pleasure, and to fill in the long summer months between football seasons. Recently he has admitted that he set himself the task of writing in a number of different genres as part of a three year programme to learn about creative writing and self-publishing. He said it was like an undergraduate degree course for which there was a strict budget and work schedule. It has since become clear that the whole experiment was one of the most interesting and absorbing things he had done in his life. He continues to write.
This is fascinating prequel to Rocking Horse Rider provides the back-stories of the complex characters in the later novel. Clyde Steadman, the youngest son of Sir Henry and Edith, Lady Steadman, is educated at Winchester College and the University College London and graduates as an outstanding geologist before making a harrowing voyage to Sydney, Australia, on board RMS ‘Osterley’.
The Jeff Hopkins gift pack will keep the more mature adults entertained for hours as it delivers an enjoyable range of stories from the Australian-flavoured themes of Artifice and The Spiv, through to historical muses in Gnarl and Impressment, with dashes of coming-of-age, intrigue and international travel sprinkled between.
The result when two lives collide unexpectedly cannot be predicted. It might prove a catastrophe, or possibly a catalyst. Played out against a background of three of the world’s most iconic cities: London, Paris and Sydney, Rocking Horse Rider is galaxy of glittering personalities searching for identity and acceptance.
It is the 25th April 1919 and Captain Christopher Murphy has been invited back to his old school, Guildale College, to deliver an address in the first year of peace after The Great War. When he arrives at East Guildale railway station, which is adjacent to the school, a flood of memories come rushing back. He now knows what he must say and walks to the school to deliver his address.
Benedict Lovelace engages 19-year-old Tommy Turkin to do some rat catching, renovations, and recruiting for his bold new ‘project’ - a travelling show. Tommy Turkin’s ‘Golden Boys’ train hard, swim well, and learn a host of new skills in Old Fremantle without really knowing what their role is going to be. In early 1898, they travel to Kalgoorlie, but not everyone looks forward to their arrival!
A retired sports’ journalist who we come to know only by his nickname, ‘Lumpy’, decides to tell the life story of one of his earliest and most interesting friends, Robbie Sparrow - 'The Spiv'. The writer is caught in a dilemma; should he ‘tell it like it was’, or sanitise a life for a more palatable product?
In 1597 Queen Elizabeth I signed a Royal warrant giving theatre managers Henry Evans, Nathaniel Giles and their deputy, James Robinson authority to ‘impress’ boys to be actors in the second Blackfriars Theatre. Impressment is a theatrical traverse through the final years of Elizabeth’s reign and the first part of the 17th century.
Generis, the son of the Lord Genet of the City State in the north is selected as a human sacrifice. With the help of the Lady Siliqua he manages to secure a line of succession. His grandson, Gnarl, is fostered out to a fisherman and his wife who educates and inspires him. At twelve, Gnarl is forced into four years military duty where he meets Kyler who helps him find justice for his dead father.
Fiona Beaumont’s relationship is over, and a career in the art world has stalled. Her decision to change direction sees her interact with two generations from different families, the Mitchells and the Robertsons. Tim Robertson is a prodigious artistic talent. Jeremy Mitchell is a golden boy and through Caravaggio, his sexual dawning, desires, and denials, cause him to discover a different self.
Jeff Hopkins in YouTube
View Jeff Hopkins' trailer for his first book 'Artifice'! read more