The Origins Of Grace

The Mariner Giveaway is now over and I’d like to thank everyone who took part. We managed to get down to #28 in the UK Horror chart, and #4 in the US Sea Adventures. The Mariner is once again for sale on and

Jemma the Vicious

I have recently been asked about the origins of Grace, the Tasmanian devil that features prominently in the The Mariner. It was suggested that she was an incarnation of Jemma, my late West Highland White Terrier. Like Grace tormenting the Mariner, Jemma would dominate those who got in her way; snapping, growling and berating any who opposed her. I suppose this curious mix of sadism and companionship did filter into the fictional Tasmanian devil, though it was entirely subconscious.

In actual fact the Tasmanian Grace was inspired by an actual Tasmanian devil. I witnessed this belligerent beast in the healesville sanctuary in Australia. Impatient and grumpy, little Grace would first “Arf!” and then bellow for her food, savage the boot of the handler and generally bully any male that shared her vicinity. As you can imagine, I was infatuated from the start.

Tasmanian devils are in terrible danger of extinction due to facial tumours and destruction of habitat. Action needs to be taken asap to protect this charming species. For more information please visit:

Grace the Tasmanian Devil, photo by Christopher Hayes