A local musician has published his debut novel Secrets, a psychological thriller set in Lancashire. Lawrence Estrey, a classical pianist, grew up near the Pennines but is now based in Muswell Hill, North London.
“I really wanted to keep many of my childhood memories alive in the novel,” he says. “Even though I’ve lived in Devon and Wales since then, I’ve always had a nostalgic feel for places like Rochdale and Oldham and Bury. I wanted readers to experience this world through the novel. To meet the people and hear the accents and view the landmarks. ”
In Secrets, the central character, a web designer, has to leave London and return to his native Lancashire when his marriage collapses. However, as the title of the novel suggests, the character has a secret of his own and he is quickly forced to face his secret past when events in his home town spiral out of control. The novel is a mixture of psychological thriller and serious crime.
Lawrence trained in music at Dartington College of Arts in Totnes, Devon, and later came to London to take up a piano scholarship with local pianist and teacher Vera Yelverton. “The early days were amazing. One year, I ended up catching an overnight coach to Edinburgh to give a recital in the Fringe Festival, and that was during a heat wave. The same week, I performed another three concerts in and around London. I used to love the buzz of it all.
“I also used to write on and off, but often it would come and go in bursts. I only seriously got interested in creative writing about 2003, shortly after I moved to Muswell Hill from another part of London. Then I ended up at the local novelist group.”
Lawrence originally approached agents and publishers with a couple of proposals about three or four years ago, both of which attracted considerable interest, but he decided to go it alone, largely due to the recession and the huge difficulties new authors often encounter.
“It’s interesting…after Secrets, I wasn’t sure I could go through the lengthy process of writing another novel, yet I’m more than two thirds of the way through my next novel EggHead, a crime thriller about a boy at the ages of twelve and nineteen. The process is very similar. I expect I shall release EggHead early next year. Meanwhile, I’m concentrating on the piano and releasing recordings and short videos through the internet.” Lawrence Estrey’s debut Secrets is available from Amazon in paperback and in Kindle.