Tune in to North Manchester FM on Saturday at 2pm for Hannah’s Bookshelf. This week I’ll be talking to the fab Krystian Kowalczuk (aka C.K. Smithson) and Gareth Sullivan, the author and illustrator of the Boggarts of Boggart Hole Clough books.
Born in Harpurhey in 1970 when the world smelled of boiling cabbage and mince, Krystian always knew he was different. For one thing, he would refer to himself in the third person whenever he was asked to write about himself (a trait he still adopts to this day). Although he moved to Darnhill (a brick built refugee camp for Mancunians whose houses were knocked down by progress), he often returned to the area of his birth and would visit Boggart Hole Clough, a park nearby. In adult life Krystian created numerous TV scripts that he sent off to the BBC to be rejected whilst working in his dream job moving boxes around large warehouses to be loaded onto trucks. He also wrote songs and poems that he would recite to family members, who constantly asked him to shut up so they could watch Coronation St. Undeterred, the plucky Mancunian ignored their derision and at the tender age of 46 he penned the first of the Boggarts of Boggart Hole Clough books. Taking him back to his North Manchester roots, the books relate to a boggart community he created with his cousin whilst consuming beer and reminiscing about old times. Krystian now resides in Norden with his four children, wife and a dog. The latter being the only one who loves him unconditionally.
Gareth was born in Manchester but is now an established resident of monkey town, Heywood. He’s been interested in art, and particularly drawing, ever since he could hold a pencil. He’s self taught in the art of drawing and painting, and his main influences and inspiration for his characters are 1980s children’s TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Trap Door. He is also influenced by his surroundings and time spent in Boggart Hole Clough as a child, when the Clough allowed his imagination to run free. Gareth is a serving police officer of fifteen years, and at one point he worked in the Blackley and Charlestown area and was often called to the Clough for reasons other than the recent book signings and Boggart Trail. Gareth is keen on supporting local initiatives and inspiring young minds, hence his involvement with the once sleeping giant Boggart Hole Clough.
I’ll be talking to Krystian and Gareth about the Boggarts, the Clough and our own bit of North Manchester folklore. And, of course, they’ll be sharing their selections for this week’s Apocalypse Books.
Catch us on Saturday at 2pm on 106.6FM (if you’re in the North Manchester area) or listen online (if you’re further afield).
Missed the show? You can catch it again here: