Raymond Nickford has said "To me, people are stranger than fiction and in many ways more fascinating."
Perhaps this is what first led him to his degree in Philosophy and Psychology from the University College of North Wales and which has subsequently driven him to produce searching character studies in his collected stories "Twists in The Tale", novels and contributions to anthologies in the USA.
Of his novel based in Cyprus, "Aristo's Family," Barbara Erskine, best selling author of "Lady of Hay" has commented on the "beautifully observed characters," the "intriguing and atmospheric scenes," and above all the suspense which made her "want to read on".
Part Greek Cypriot, the author was raised amongst Greeks in England and has travelled extensively through Cyprus. He has particular admiration for the village people whose company and hospitality he has enjoyed so much in the Troodos Mountains.
Though people may be stranger than fiction, still, souls - particularly troubled ones, the outsider, the lonely and any driven to extremity –have been indispensable for Raymond's paperback novels, "Aristo's Family," "Mister Kreasey's Demon" and "Twists in the Tale".
Raymond believes that his teaching of English in colleges and as a private tutor visiting pupils from "shacks to mansions" and seeing the "absolutely delightful to the vaguely Little Lord Fauntleroy" has informed his latest literary thriller "A Child from the Wishing Well."
This features an eerie music tutor, her young pupil Rosie and Rosie's paranoid and inept father, Gerard, who nevertheless yearns to mean more to his daughter.
The E-book version of "A Child from the Wishing Well" is now published and available to buy.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Candace Bowen - author of A Knight of Silence, has written:
“Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, the first scary movie I remember seeing was the 1965 Bette Davis movie, The Nanny. To this day, that movie has always stuck with me as one of the great psychological thrillers of all time.
For me, A Child from the Wishing Well, by Raymond Nickford, is reminiscent of that movie. Ruth, the eerie music tutor, and Gerard strap you in, and take you on a psychological thrill-ride to the very end.”
Stephen Valentine - author of Nobody Rides for Free, comments:
"The author gives great voice to his characters, describing well their idiosyncrasies. A good story must either go deep or wide, and with his background in psychology he goes deep within the human condition. For some adults, the ability to relate to a child does not come naturally, and requires enormous if not awkward effort. This is an often overlooked subject worth exploring."
Raven Clark - author of The Shadowsword Saga says:
"Raymond Nickford has a writing voice that has to be one of the most unique and intriguing I have come across.
The story is both enjoyable and oddly chilling, all the more so for its apparent warmth. The pleasantness of Ruth and her liveliness should seem gentle, grandmotherly and appealing, a sweet old lady one could adore, but reading the trailer, what seems kindly suddenly turns sinister, her upbeat excitability oddly macabre.
Each time she says lines like "Our Rosie," and speaks so excitedly, rather than hearing a pleasant old lady, I think of a bird screeching. Fingers down a blackboard.
Will Gerard realize what he feels is not a symptom of his disease?
And if not, will Heather uncover the truth and save Rosie before the hurricane that is Ruth sweeps her into oblivion?"
Raymond confesses to a passion for plump, docile tabbies and is moved by the music and life of the composer Edward Elgar; his interest leading him each year to a cottage in the Malvern Hills and to the Three Choirs Festival. He is a member of the Elgar Society.
He is currently working on another psychological suspense," Prey to Her Madonna". Here, the author says, "the intrigue moves between Madeira, an eerie French shrine, an English village and London".
on Nov. 04, 2012 :
Until the end, you're never sure whether Kreasey's love for his student, Amy, will ever be able to blossom as he's haunted by the fear that she just might be another amongst the gathering of street-hardened classmates who, he believes, wish him some very nasty harm because of the social divide between them and their teacher who is more interested in the metaphysical poets than their small time street crime.
At times, Amy seems to be his only sanctuary from those who scheme to get him stressed out, until he overdoses on his Diazepam tablets or walks into the wheels of a mysterious car on his way home from college at night. Yet at other times, she seems to hover over being in league with Kreasey's assassins.
I thought the play on these two possibilities made it hard to put the book down until I got nearer the end. The book probably reveals as much about what acute anxiety can do to a teacher as does about the depth of genuine feeling that can be achieved between an older man and a young college student, when the younger picks up on the mental frailty of the older.
Bit slow at first but worth the build of the characters. It soon becomes clear though that the teacher-students theme is no campus stereotype but an original. As I mention, it does begin at a gentle pace but this soon proves deceptive. From the start, the mystery of who's pursuing/haunting Kreasey really crept me out. The closed and dimly lit college buildings that Kreasey revisits in the night to face his 'demons' is one of the strangest and most eerie reads I can remember for a long time, so that although the pace is gradual, it's relentless, the tension all the time swelling up beneath until I sensed that either tragedy or the discovery of mutual love would finally take over.
(reviewed long after purchase)