I guess it’s ok to call myself an author, although I still struggle with the ostentation of the label (and yes, I do suffer from imposter syndrome).
The dictionary definition of ‘author’ is, ‘anyone who writes a book, article or other text’. Well, I’ve certainly been writing books for a while and I am very excited that the Book Guild accepted my latest opus, aimed at middle grade/young teenagers for publication. It’s due out in July 2021 and all the behind-the-scenes work is well underway to produce the finished article.
This is the first time I have worked on something for a younger market and I have to say, it was a wonderful experience that allowed me to wander off even more into the realms of my imagination, indulge my interest in all things paranormal, while also learning about some of Scotland’s turbulent history.
The result is “PJ and the Paranormal Pursuers – The Mackenzie Poltergeist”. As the name suggests, it is a ghost story in which an infamous poltergeist residing in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, makes its presence very much felt, when a group of young ghost hunters set out on a mission to find him. I will write more fully on the new book nearer the time of its publication, but I can promise a mix of thrills and scary moments, with a little bit of pathos, as the characters meet up at a bereavement counselling session, following the loss of their loved ones.
Although the book is aimed at young people, I’m hoping that a few older ones might enjoy it too.
I’ve been writing since I was fourteen, when my articles about the Edinburgh Festival were published in our local newspaper. In a way, my writing continued when I went into advertising and public relations, which involved copywriting, composing press releases and marketing material content. I toyed with the idea of writing a novel in my twenties and attended a residential writers’ course, but at that time, I just didn’t feel I had enough life experience to produce anything convincing. Shortly afterwards, I decided to go to university and followed a career in law, during which time, I also had my son.
It wasn’t until, inspired by the romance and mystery of Crete, that I wrote my first novel, “Charon’s Children”, published in Greece in 2007. Since then, I have continued to write and have been unable to stop thinking of stories that I want to write, if only I had the time to get them all out of my head and get them down on paper. In the fullness of time, I have promised myself, I will become prolific and refine my craft.
I decided to start this blog so that I could write about subjects surrounding my stories and, perhaps, just to explore things that interest me, (which usually end up in my stories, one way or another). I hope they might also interest readers of my books and the blog.
LIFE, DEATH AND … WHAT ELSE?
My first article, coming soon, is going to be about bereavement and grief, (a subject touched upon in all my books) following the recent death of my beloved Jack Russell, Smudge. I wanted to write something as a tribute to him, but also to share the experience with others. We animal lovers are often belittled for the strength of devotion and feeling we have towards our pets, but the pain of their loss is often equal to (and sometimes greater than) that which we experience in respect of humans. Writing the articles is my way of acknowledging how precious our pets are, and of finding a catharsis to help me deal with the loss of Smudge.
Smudge’s story isn’t, however, just going to end there. First, he will live on in the sequels to PJ and the Paranormal Pursuers. Secondly, while I have no religious affiliations in the organised or traditional sense, I do believe that there is something more after life. Those who have read my books will be aware of this, as my stories often take a glimpse into ‘the other side’. I don’t know, yet, what that ‘something more’ might be, but I have been aware of it several times in my life and I have actively explored it whilst maintaining a ‘sceptical’ openness to the possibilities.
Suffice to say, there was an almost immediate postscript to Smudge’s death that brought me some comfort, if even for just a few moments, and I will share the experience with readers in due course. In the meantime, watch this space and come with me on my journey to find peace in the absence of my best and most beloved little friend and to explore a cornucopia of ‘stuff’ that I hope might interest anyone who stumbles upon the self-indulgence of this blog.
"PJ and The Paranormal Pursuers - The Mackenzie Poltergeist" is available for pre--order now on Amazon and other retail sites. www.amazon.co.uk/PJ-Paranormal-Pursuers-Mackenzie-Poltergeist/dp/1913913147/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2N3944617FLF0&dchild=1&keywords=pj+and+the+paranormal+pursuers&qid=1620059015&sprefix=pj+and+the+paranor%2Caps%2C166&sr=8-1