Cribbins: He Lived & Died in the House Next Door

There’s a devil waiting outside your door,
He’s weak with evil and broken by the world,
He’s shouting your name and he’s asking for more. ― Metallica, Loverman


Hey, it’s been a while. I can’t believe it’s October tomorrow!

Recently I had part of my immune system wiped out, and have been oscillating between feeling wired on steroids and feeling rather fragile. But it’s all good, I’ve had time to reflect and get the first draft of the new book written, and I’m officially kicking the shit out of MS. Woo!

So, the new book. Originally I was going to call it The House Next Door, but having realised there are quite a few other books with that title, I’ve decided to rename it Cribbins. But what does that mean? Here’s a summary of the book which will explain…

“While struggling to cope with the emotional and physical impact of having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, single mother Sophie Harrington is tormented by a man from the past: her old neighbour Ronnie Cribbins.

Cribbins has been dead for the past fifteen years and Sophie is faced with the possibility that his malevolent spirit could be the cause of her autoimmunity, because she can feel him attacking her senses from within. 

Enlisting the help of new neighbour Piotr Kamiński, a troubled younger man, Sophie must look to the past in order to expose a secret she hadn’t realised she’d kept hidden. Because if she doesn’t recognise the truth she, along with her eleven-year-old daughter, will be sucked into Cribbins’ cold, black, stinking world forever. 

And in Cribbins’ world there’s no medication – just pain and sickness.”

I’m really pleased with the way Cribbins is shaping up. When I first came up with the idea, during my own second relapse, I’d moved back in with my parents because my husband was working away and I was pretty much out of action. I remember lying in my old bedroom one night, tripping on steroids, wondering why I could hear snoring coming from the house next door. This then opened up a whole load of ‘what ifs’ in my head and everything kind of snowballed from there.

It’s worth pointing out that although Sophie Harrington shares a couple of similarities, she’s by no means meant to be me. I merely wanted to tackle MS within my fiction, perhaps as a form of therapy, but also to raise awareness. Undoubtedly, MS is one scary motherfucker and it can strike out of the blue, targeting anyone. Until I found myself in its sights, I had absolutely no idea this was the case. So yeah, awareness means vigilance. It’s one of the many monsters under the bed that we’d do well to know about, so that before it gets too big we can drag it out by the ankles and kick its teeth out.

As for Cribbins, who is he? Well, he’s an amalgamation of various people I’ve known throughout my time and pure fiction. But one thing’s for certain, he’s a sick, horrible old bastard that no one would want for a neighbour.


2 thoughts on “Cribbins: He Lived & Died in the House Next Door

  1. Mandie Hines

    It’s great to hear more details about the book you’re working on. It sounds like it’s going to be fantastic! I really like the Sophie character. And since this is my second time around hearing the name Cribbins, and it’s now locked into my brain as a last name, I like the title too!


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