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You are in: Stoke & Staffordshire Features »
2005
Once upon a time in the Midlands
Stuart Neild
Stuart Neild
Local author Stuart Neild has finally made the breathrough after the publication of his supernatural thriller A Hanted Man. Here, Stuart talks about the life of a writer, how he intends to build on his initial success... and why places like Hanley might soon be on the silver screen!
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A Haunted Man
Synopsis and sample of the novel. It's also possible to buy the book on this site
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It's a weird life being a writer at the best of times, whether you’re trying to break into the literary world, or have already made it.

It's been an especially weird year for me, in my breakthrough year as they call it. I've gone from nowhere nobody to Z list celebrity in the space of six months.

I look forward to the next six months when I might grapple my way up to E list celebrity status and be on level pegging with alcoholic ex-footballers, overweight pop idol quarter finalists and big brother legends. Or is that leg ends?

The press and feedback I’ve had from my first novel has been amazing. Especially for a novel that has mostly been just available on order or on the internet.

Robbie Williams

Just after Christmas the Stoke Sentinel did a spread on me on page thirteen. Robbie Williams had page three, so I must be working my way up the success ladder.

And to think the first bit of press I had, was a small caption and photo in the Congleton Chronicle, on the births and deaths page. Oh happy days.

The highlight of it all up to now, has been autographing a book for Uri Geller, who even found the time to speak in an interview about me on BBC Radio Stoke itself. He’s a real nice bloke, and a cracking fiction novelist in his own right.

Hunter of ghosts

My book is entitled A Haunted Man. The main character in my novel is James Boag-Munroe, a hunter of ghosts.

He has hunted them for most of his life and for the past ten previous years, has been plying his trade in America.

Now he has returned to his home town of Northwich. But something isn't right.

Boag-Munroe has lost his memory. He doesn’t know how or why he has returned.

As he starts to piece together the shattered fragments of his mind, he begins to realise that the spirits may have turned the tables, and the ghosts are now hunting the ghost hunter.

Ghost hunter

A Haunted Man is the first in a series starring ghost hunter Boag-Munroe. The books are set over various North West and Midlands locations.

As a local author, I decided I wanted to promote towns and sites that I had lived in or visited regularly.

Places like Congleton cloud, Northwich salt mines, Hanley, all play a part in the novels, short stories…. and maybe in the TV series and movie soon.

Yes, imagine my surprise when I was approached by an American film company, who ended up taking out an option on the character and books.

Silver Screen

I’ve already written the first draft 45 minute series pilot, and am working out the plots for the other proposed thirteen episodes, that will make up the first series season.

Next up I’m adapting the book for the silver screen, while writing the A Haunted Man sequel (and no I can’t tell you its title yet, it's top secret).

That's not to mention putting the finishing touches to my second novel Spring-Heeled Jack Awakes, which feature a certain little town known as Hanley.

Tips for aspiring writers

As for tips for aspiring writers, what can I say, but just keep plugging away. I know that must sound trite, now that I’m published, but don’t forget I’ve been plugging away at the writing game for twenty years.

It’s only now that the doors have started opening, and they're still only ajar.

One last thing. Buy the book A Haunted Man. Buy it now. Readers or would-be writers (writers you'll pick up a lot of hints from this book), hunt it, track it down, beat it with a large club if you like, just make sure you buy it.

If you don't, your region, your area will be over looked once again. And I'll probably be a starving writer for the rest of my unnatural life!
Stuart Neild
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