A Magazine Interview

Hi, I don’t want to spoil the show – but tomorrow, I’m doing an interview for a creative arts magazine on the subject of my new blog, mypianobio

The blog project, titled My Musical Journey by Lawrence Estrey, tells my personal story as a musician, but touches on sensitive topics like gangs, bullying, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I don’t want to say too much now. I think it’s a case of, watch this space. 

Advertisements

Thoughts On A Second Novel

In the weeks following publication of my debut novel Secrets, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Having invested considerable time in writing Secrets, an adult psychological thriller, I couldn’t imagine completing an entirely new novel. It seemed impossible.

Then, about a couple of months later, I started a story about a fourteen-year-old boy who goes looking for his father shortly after his mother’s new boyfriend  moves into their Manchester flat.  Although the central character EggHead doesn’t consciously link the two, his mistrust of his mother’s boyfriend, along with his natural father’s rejection of him, leads him to taking a number of dangerous risks, which eventually rebound and result in him going into care. Three years later, he emerges in a remote coastal resort off the North Sea, cut off from the rest of the family and in considerable danger.  The novel tackles the theme of bullying and addresses what can happen when the recipient of the bullying loses control and retaliates…
 
I completed EggHead in about nine months and found that previous writing experience with my debut novel helped when it came to structure and planning. I enjoyed writing from an adolescent viewpoint, and have been informed that the voice is strong and authentic. However, I found the writing process draining at times, particularly when it came to depicting the bleak and lonely coastal surroundings, and I would sometimes consider abandoning the story. I self-published EggHead at the end of last year, and have just completed a new novel for Young Adults.  It feels strange to be going through the polishing stages again so soon after EggHead.
 
My debut novel Secrets by Lawrence Estrey is available from Amazon in paperback and e-book. 

 

 
 

Both Novels Available on Amazon

My second novel – EggHead by Lawrence Estrey –  is now available on Amazon.co.uk in paperback form and as an e-book.  

In EggHead, an adolescent boy has to take action when a strangers starts a bullying campaign against him, but the boy’s actions backfire, leading to him having to leave home.  He then settles in a secluded coastal town where he finds himself unable to cope and is drawn into further trouble and danger…

The novel falls into the categories of Teen Fiction and Young Adult, but also crosses over into mainstream fiction.

Currently, I’m working on a third novel about a group of music students living in a house in the countryside.

Meanwhile, my first novel, a psychological thriller – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available in paperback and as an e-book from Amazon.  Check out the reviews.  

A sample from Secrets:

A fresh downpour has started. I make my way down the hill, stopping when I hear footsteps. Nothing. I continue on through the icy wind to the clearing where I’ve parked my car. The dog’s barking gets louder in the distance. Nearby, more branches snap. Silence again. The white van is still parked a few yards from my car. 

I feel it then. An invisible presence, the same one I felt a few nights ago near my flat in London. I hear movement in the trees that separate the clearing from the deserted field and I shine the torch in all directions.

Newspaper article on author.

Local musician publishes crime thriller

Almost Done/My Second Novel

I’ve just completed the advanced proofread for my second novel EggHead, a crime thriller featuring an adolescent boy who goes by the nickname of Egghead.  In the first part of the story, the fourteen-year-old Egghead resorts to drastic measures to tackle a bullying vendetta.  His actions backfire and he has to leave home.  In the second part of the story, Egghead, now seventeen, struggles to rebuild his life in a secluded village off the North Sea, but his past soon comes back to haunt him, leaving him isolated and in danger….

My heart nearly stops when I see the elaborate blue handwriting on the envelope, fountain pen style.  The writing doesn’t belong to Uncle Graham or Mum or Grandpa or anyone else I remember. No one I know uses a fountain pen, just Biro. No one should have this address, only Uncle Graham and Belinda. Official mail always looks official, not personal like this letter.  Should I open it or not? Supposing it explodes in my face, blinding, scarring me. 

I tear the envelope open.

A newspaper cutting falls out.

An obituary. 

Best wishes, kid, someone has written. 

Meanwhile, my first novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available from Amazon (paperback, e-book).   Genre: psychological thriller.   

Newspaper article on author.

Brief Writing Sample: The New Novel

I’m in the proof reading stage of my new novel EggHead, a teenage crime thriller featuring central character Wayne who has to leave home at the age of fourteen following a bullying campaign.  Now aged seventeen, the character struggles to come to terms with life on a remote North Sea village, miles away from anyone he knows.   And once again, his past revisits him….

In the following section, the fourteen-year-old boy begins to suspect that something isn’t quite right….

Footsteps. Two lots this time. 

I throw a glance over my shoulder. 

A figure ducks out of sight.

I tear down the side alleyway that connects with the mews and leg it up the outside rear steps, nearly slipping on clunks of damp concrete. I can still hear the footsteps, even now. Someone, or a couple of people, must be in the side alleyway, following me back.  Digging in my pockets, I find the key and thrust it in the lock. Forcing the key round, I open the door, dash into the hallway and bang the door shut. 

‘That you, Wayne?’ Simon calls.

I tiptoe through to my bedroom in the dark.  Perching low, I creep towards the bedroom window and look out. There are no signs of movement outside, no one standing by the foot of the steps, no one on the steps, nothing suspicious – only an empty mews with storage lock ups by the rear wall used by the shop owners on the ground floor. But just as I turn, I catch another flicker of movement down near the lock ups, like a wiry shape deftly moving out of sight and blending into the shadowy darkness. Then my mobile rings and Private Caller flashes up on the screen, but no one speaks. 

 ‘Oi, Wayne,’ Simon shouts from the kitchen.  ‘You got a voice or what?’

Meanwhile, my first novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available from Amazon (paperback, e-book).   Genre: psychological thriller.   

Newspaper article on author.   

 

Short Writing Sample/Second Novel

Finally completed EggHead and am in the process of considering what steps to take to get it published.  In EggHead, the fourteen-year-old protagonist has to leave home and go into care when his attempts to deal with bullying backfire.  Now aged seventeen, he is struggling to rebuild his life in a remote village off the North Sea.

After lunch, Uncle Graham drives me to the nearest large town, puts some cash in my bank account and picks up a few cleaning items from a ninety-nine pence shop. On the way back to the car, he spots a store selling suits and insists on getting me one.  I choose a grey one and check it out in the changing rooms.  The transformation surprises me.  When I looked in the mirror, I was expecting to see an exhausted individual with stooped shoulders and a defeated expression in their eyes – a sort of tired of running expression – but instead I see a youthful face staring back at me.  Egg shaped head, soulful blue eyes, Labrador blond hair.  When I was at school in Manchester, my mates used to call me Egghead.  

Meanwhile, my first novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available from Amazon (paperback, e-book).   Genre: psychological thriller

Finished First Draft Of EggHead

I finished the first draft of my second novel EggHead, a crime thriller set both  in Manchester and the North East coast and I am relatively happy with the first half of the story but not the second.  In EggHead, central character Wayne (17) is forced to rebuild his life in a remote village off the coastal after taking drastic measures to deal with a bullying situation.

The following takes place towards the end of the novel:

The car starts to slow its pace, weaving down a trail with bumps in the ground and turns, twisting and scraping against hedges and bushes while sleet and rain splatter outside and the night wind wails like a banshee caught up in a cycle of distress.  I remain perched on the floor in the back, body racked with discomfort, but I don’t see a thing.  I only sense the trail, a deserted path in the middle of nowhere, hidden by trees, a path leading to nowhere.  For a minute or two, the vehicle seems to hover.   The Ghost sits in silence, his gun fixed on me.  The blokes in the front light cigarettes and flick ash out of the windows, letting in freezing night air.   

The engine dies.  ‘Time to go,’ The Ghost says. 

Meanwhile, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available on Amazon.    Reviews

Crunch Point: A Writing Sample

I’ve reached a dramatic peak  in the current novel I’m working on.   In EggHead, a crime thriller, central character Wayne (14) has to leave home after he takes drastic measures in dealing with a bullying campaign against him.   Three years on, he struggles to build a life for himself in a remote village off the North Sea.  But the past begins to catch up with him again and Wayne has to escape once more…

I stagger up a ginnel with a railing in the centre, reaching a steep incline, and start to climb.  Up and up and up, past houses and chimneys and back fences, struggling on, panting for air, the night temperature dropping to below freezing.  Straight up in a direct line, the incline getting steeper and steeper, the shouts and dog barking still present but starting to fade into the distance.   The incline bends to the right.  The gradient begins to level.  Just about bearable, although the weather’s slowing me down.

The incline stops abruptly.  A road lies ahead, a still country lane with hedges and fields on the opposite side, fields covered in mist, fields rising up a steep hill bordering the V-shaped housing estate at the top of the village.  I’m on the main road that runs adjacent to Dead End Lane.

I take out my phone, nearly dropping it on the ground.  My fingers have turned clumsy, useless frozen clumps that refuse to obey my brain, and the SOS icon on the screen remains mockingly still, indicating that none of the recipients have received the message.  I turn left on the main road, moving further away from the crossroads and Dead End Lane, along an empty stretch of lane with no houses or cottages.  And then, I hear the fanfare all over again, a fanfare like a hunting party with bugles and hounds.  Van doors slamming shut, dogs whining and barking, men and women shouting in the night.  Over there.  He’s over there.

Meanwhile, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available on Amazon.    Reviews

Building The Tension: A Writing Sample

I’ve completed about two-thirds of my new novel EggHead, a psychological thriller featuring central character Wayne at the ages of fourteen and seventeen.  The fourteen-year-old resorts to extreme measures following a bullying campaign against him.  Three years on, Wayne, now seventeen, is living in a B & B (Dosser’s House) and struggling to come to terms with life in a remote village off the North Sea.   The following scene takes place in the early hours of the morning when Wayne finds himself in an unfamiliar basement flat without any recollection of going there. 

I have to get back to Dosser’s House or stand the risk of freezing to death outdoors. I stop to catch my breath and steady myself.  The houses on the crescent all look the same.  I continue on, past similar three-storey properties.  At times, I think I’m walking in the wrong direction, away from Dead End Lane, especially when the hum of the waves starts to fade into the distance, but then the street widens and joins a hill. 

A lamppost that’s lit.

I can just about make out Dead End Lane a few yards in front of me.  Home.  I cross and climb the three steps up to Dosser’s House, my head reeling from whisky and confusion.   

I stop.   

Someone’s watching me.  I know the sensation.  You sort of become aware of it and you turn round and find that someone really is staring at you.  But this time, the sensation’s particularly strong and focused.  It’s like someone’s watching with a specific reason in mind, monitoring my movements, studying them.   

I hear a soft murmur, a hum, an engine kicking into life.  

Cigarette smoke.  Someone smoking a cigarette out of a car window.  A bloke in a black leather jacket.  Black leather gloves.

A vehicle pulls out from nowhere, a dark blue car with no headlights. 

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available on Amazon.    Reviews

 

Popular Theme In Children’s/Teenage Fiction: Running Away

Here, central character Wayne (14) runs away from home following a campaign of bullying.

The last bus drops me off at a junction, and I retrace the route. Yeah, I was here yesterday as well, searching for Max. Things were bad then, but they quickly got worse.  I pass the familiar sites, keeping my hood up and my head down to avoid drawing attention to myself.  Muddy brown buildings.   Swimming baths.  Petrol pump. Supermarket.  Street after street of low rise housing.  Church on corner.  Rows of terrace houses.  Boarded up windows.  Rainy puddles.  Litter.  I continue on to the crumbly brown pub by the play area, the pub where Max conducts his business dealings.  

It’s too early on in the day to try the pub.  Just after nine.  I decide to go directly to Max’s house, even though he’ll be furious with me for turning up uninvited.  He doesn’t know I have his address.

‘What are you doing here?’ he says when I arrive there roughly ten minutes later.

I tell him what happened last night.  Brick through window.   The threats.  Running to Uncle Graham’s house.  The huge row that followed.   ‘You promised you’d text,’ I remind Max.

‘Yeah, sorry about that.  Busy night.’  He shakes his head.  ‘What are you planning to do, kid?  You can’t stay here, you know.’

 

Meanwhile, Meanwhile, my debut novel – Secrets by Lawrence Estrey – is available on Amazon.    Reviews