PICA, by Jeff Gardiner

Today, I’m handing over to Jeff Gardiner, a fellow Crooked Cat, to tell you about his new novel ‘PICA’. He gets bonus points for mentioning Leonardo DiCaprio in his post – always a soft spot where I’m concerned!

So Jeff, over to you…


When Leonardo DiCaprio received his Oscar for his brilliant performance in ‘The Revenant’ he said two things that made me wonder if he’d read my novel ‘PICA’. His award-winning movie explores a similar theme to ‘Pica’: our relationship with the natural world. Some of us seem to see it as us against nature; clearing away forests, overfishing the oceans, concreting over everything, and throwing away plastic that never disintegrates… However, we need to realise that we are part of nature. We are creatures – Homo sapiens. We need to understand and appreciate our place within the natural world, as responsible guardians. As his parting shot Leonardo DiCaprio made this comment: “Let us not take this planet for granted”. This is something we’re certainly guilty of – as a species, if not as individuals.


So what’s that got to do with my novel, ‘Pica’? Teenager, Luke, gets to know a strange boy called Guy, who shows him some of the miraculous things in our world. Luke discovers our planet is dying and realises he needs to do something on a large scale. It’s great that we all chip in by recycling, saving electricity, planting trees, using renewable energy sources, and so on, but Luke comes to a realisation that he needs to do even more. After all, he didn’t build the factories that spew pollution into the skies. It isn’t him cutting down rainforests and destroying the habitats of endangered species. Collectively we can make a small difference, but really it’s the world leaders, governments and multinational businesses, plus the culture of greed that is really killing Mother Earth.

As he discovers more about the ancient secrets and magic of nature, Luke’s perspective on reality is radically altered, as he steps into a fantastical world that equips him with answers to these huge challenges. Things will never be the same for Luke again.

It takes celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio to remind us of the seriousness of climate change and how we are destroying our very own home – planet Earth. If he hasn’t read ‘Pica’ then I think he will enjoy it. I’ll send him a copy.

About PICA

Pica explores a world of ancient magic, when people and nature shared secret powers.

Luke hates nature, preferring the excitement of computer games to dull walks in the countryside, but his view of the world around him drastically begins to change when enigmatic loner, Guy, for whom Luke is reluctantly made to feel responsible, shows him some of the secrets that the very planet itself appears to be hiding from modern society.

Set in a very recognisable world of school and the realities of family-life, Luke tumbles into a fascinating world of magic and fantasy where transformations and shifting identities become an escape from the world. Luke gets caught up in an inescapable path that affects his very existence, as the view of the world around him drastically begins to change.

You can find Jeff’s website here, and PICA is available at a range of outlets, including Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Amazon UK, Amazon US and Amazon Australia.



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