Book Talk: Hauntingly English superhero Candleman is born

Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:05pm EDT
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By Simon Falush

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Up until now Britain has lacked it's own credible superhero and those looking for feats of supernatural prowess tended to turn to the United States, but Candleman may be about to change that.

Theo Wickland spent childhood confined to three rooms by cunning, malicious captors, and was told that he had a debilitating illness that necessitated unpleasant medical treatment.

But an intrepid rescue by the secretive Society of Unrelenting Vigilance freed Theo from his virtual prison and flung him into a timeless London which incorporates a weird and wonderful mix of the modern and the Victorian.

Soon Theo discovers his devastating powers -- the real reason he was kept locked up -- and finds himself battling the foul smog-dwelling smoglodytes and teaming up with the secret society.

Candleman's author Glenn Dakin, who has already written for characters such as "Postman Pat" and "Spiderman," spoke to Reuters about where the inspiration for his first original creation came from and the state of British publishing.

Q: Where did the idea for the book come from?

A: The spark for it came of the Hobbit. There's a line in it where Gandalf the wizard has a sword that glows in the presence of danger or murder.

I liked that idea. It sounded whimsical and old-fashioned, almost Victorian. It led me into writing a story about a modern-day boy who's inherits the creepy baggage of a Victorian crime-fighter.   Continued...

<p>Author Glenn Dakin in an undated photo. REUTERS/Emont/Handout</p>