Capturing The Atmosphere At A Concert Or Gig

Having written and published a couple of novels (one adult psychological thriller, the other teenage socio-economic), I’ve recently completed the draft for a third.  Currently, I’m revising along the lines suggested in a professional Editorial Critique – basically, more action, more intensity. The novel falls under the genre of Young Adult Fiction and tells the story of a group of advanced classical pianists, all in their teens.  In the novel, the students meet at an International Summer School, but events soon veer out of control.  The central protagonist (17) embarks on the studies shortly after narrowly escaping  prosecution by the police, and during his week on the course, he struggles to reconcile his former gang mentality with the rich teenagers around him.   He also becomes involved with two girls, one of whom presents her own story in alternating third person narratives.

Having trained at music college myself, I can relate to a lot of the musical stuff that goes on.  I spent three years at Dartington College of Arts, Totnes, Devon, where I studied for a degree. 

In the following section, the central character switches into music student mode.  The Editorial Report recommended simplifying  these sections and making them more immediate.

After taking a bow, she finished the concert with the Heroic Polonaise by Chopin, leaving the audience on their feet in a standing ovation, cheering and whistling and demanding more. Like, wild. The cameras going crazy.  The guy next to me updating his Facebook page. Everyone shouting and clapping, apart from Philippa who sat there, stony-faced and silent. The atmosphere electric. The music alive. I, too, wanted to scream and shout and whistle along with the others. We all belonged.   Yeah, and I got that mad feeling as well. You know the one?  The type that everyone is supposed to get at these sorts of events…like life’s totally perfect and you’d be happy to die there and then. 


A Child’s Perspective: Writing Sample

Still having problems following a recent complicated dental procedure, but have worked solidly on my last novel, a psychological thriller for young adults, most days.  Here the alternative viewpoint character reflects on the events that took place when she was seven:


Next, an untidy garden in Devon where they moved to after Cornwall. Branches swaying in

the wind. Autumn leaves covering the ground. Taking her by the hand, Mum led her through clumps of damp earth and sat her by the garden pond to tell her they were moving again. To Dorset, this time.

Without Dad. Mum told her that Dad had decided to live somewhere else but he would always love her.

So she and Mum moved to a middle floor flat in an old three-storey house that stood back from the road overlooking the coast, and she pined for Dad, crying into her pillow night after night, believing that she had sent him away. Too naughty, maybe?

Meanwhile, my debut novel Secrets by Lawrence Estrey is available from Amazon in paperback and e-book.

Check out the reviews for  Secrets.

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller

EggHead by Lawrence Estrey: Questions And Answers


Scene Setting, The Bleak Coast

Pretty much out of action still after a dental extraction that resulted in an allergic reaction, but here goes.  My novel in progress, a psychological thriller for teenagers and Young Adults.

She took cover in a brick shelter for a while, then braved it and sprinted the remainder of the way, down the shore path and up the steps to the promenade, aware that she looked a mess.

The walkway was slippery from rain, sand and mud. A large group of teenagers in hoodies stood outside the amusement arcade, smoking, shouting, laughing. She kept her eyes on the floor when she passed, conscious of their collective gaze. She ignored the sniggers and half-whispered comments, telling herself that they were stupid: at least she’d done exceptionally well at school and she had plenty of friends at Sixth Form – certainly enough friends to cover for her while she was here. She waited alone by the railings near the end of the pier, eyes fixed on the sea and the Grand Theatre further along, planning on what to say for when she confronted him.

Bleak Rural Setting: Writing Sample

I’ve been out of action recently due to complications following a dental extraction, but have managed to do about two or three hours of writing each day.

The following comes from my novel in progress, a psychological thriller aimed at Young Adults.  In this part of the story, the secondary viewpoint character struggles to cope after returning to her home town after ten years:

Something like crunching footsteps interrupted her thoughts, and she looked round. Nothing, apart from the empty field with a line of nettles by the fence and barbed wiring. She climbed a stile and moved on towards the private driveway leading to Lyme Hall. The weather was muggy again, just like yesterday and the day before when she’d arrived. Tears stung her eyes, blinding her vision, and she stumbled, nearly tripping on uneven grounding as she struggled to contain her hiccuping sobs.

Evil, evil, evil Hall. It had robbed her, destroyed her life.

She stopped, looked over her shoulder. Once again, she’d heard movement in the grass.

Footsteps. A snapping branch.

But the field was empty, the grass limp from rain.