I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, minding my own business, stopped at a red traffic light, when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to Hospital and kept in for while, but it was not physical injuries that I suffered from; it was mental.
I had lost all confidence in myself, let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin, and the anxiety attacks would start.
I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly but I wasn’t, I could not cope with life and thought about ending it.
Somehow or other with the help from my dear wife, and professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly, rebuilt my self-esteem.
It took almost four years to fully recover and become what I now am, somewhere close to what I was before that day, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write.
My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless it was there. After telling me to write another story, he said that there were two choices open to me: One, wait for a traditional deal. At sixty-two, with no literary profile or experience; little hope. Two, self-publish through New Generation.
This, I’m delighted to say, I did.
The success of my story, The Desolate Garden, is down to my sheer hard work, luck, in meeting a film producer and the uncompromising stance taken by Daniel Cooke my publisher, who never ‘massages my inflated ego,’ as he so often puts it.