FANS of dark fantasy fiction in Knutsford have a chance to meet an up-and-coming local author - one who does much of his work on a smartphone.

Craig Wood – or C. S. Wood – recently launched his debut novel, Sabre: The Shattered Oath, with Compass Publishing, available now through his website and Amazon in hardback, paperback, and digital formats.

It’s the first installment in a trilogy which Craig says is 'a gritty, fantasy adventure story set in a gothic era, blended with elements of steam punk in an 1803 setting’.

With a six-month-old daughter and a high-pressure day job in marketing, the 33-year-old says he has to ‘snatch moments here and there’ for writing, and finds using Microsoft Office on his smartphone a great strategy. 

Knutsford Guardian: Sabre: A Shattered Oath is the first in Craig's 'gritty' sci-fi adventure trilogySabre: A Shattered Oath is the first in Craig's 'gritty' sci-fi adventure trilogy (Image: Compass Publishing)

Currently on paternity leave, Craig has been taking his daughter Evie to Baby Bounce sessions at Knutsford Library, and after staff reviewed his new book, Cheshire East Library Services has now agreed to stock lending copies boroughwide.

What’s more, for readers who like the personal touch, Craig is doing a meet the author and book signing at Knutsford Library on Saturday, June 22, 9am to 12pm.

Talking of his passion for adventure fiction, Craig said: “Writing has always been my passion ever since I was little. I just love bringing my imagination to life on paper.

Knutsford Guardian: Craig's first novel is dedicated to his nan, Jill Wendy Wood (left) pictured here with his dad, Steve WoodCraig's first novel is dedicated to his nan, Jill Wendy Wood (left) pictured here with his dad, Steve Wood (Image: Craig Wood)

“As a kid, I was always really good at drawing, then I’d write stories around the pictures.

“I used to draw some quite gory stuff – my dad used to let me watch action and sci-fi films when my mum was at work – and I’d go off and draw what I’d seen.

“That used to get me into a bit of trouble to be honest, but my justification was writing a story around them. People seemed to mind it less then. 

“I’ve been working on the Sabre trilogy for about eight years, so it’s taken a long time getting it to this point.

“It’s not easy, working full-time and writing. It’s got even more of a challenge since Evie arrived. I snatch whatever time I can, even if it’s just 30 minute a day. Progress is progress, after all.

“It’s about chipping away at it, either in the evening or first thing in the morning. One nifty trick I’ve found is you can get Microsoft Office on your phone.

“That means you can write on train journeys, or when I’m in the passenger seat. That’s allowed me to crack on with it.”

Craig’s novel has already attracted a clutch of five-star reviews from Goodreads, LoveReading, and Amazon Kindle customers.  

It also carries a moving dedication to a very special person in his life.

He added: “The first book of the trilogy is dedicated to my nana, Jill Wendy Wood, who was a big inspiration to me and a constant source of support.

“Sadly, she died last year, and never got to see it in print. She used to let me use her computer after school to write my stories.

”I'll never forget that."