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".
Where to find Raymond Nickford online
Where to buy in print
Cupboard of Skeletons
Moving, dysfunctional lives and relationships; hypnotist and patient, a strained romance, paranoid father and daughter, eccentrics, making normal relationships difficult. Some ghostly presences but the 'Cupboard of Skeletons' is more a euphemism for people with embarrassing secrets coming to haunt and test their lives and how, despite despair, they try to find something of their dreams.
A Child from the Wishing Well
Gerard's wish is to break out of paranoia and mental illness to re-discover daughter Rosie's love for her father.
He takes her to violin lessons and tries to trust Ruth, Rosie's tutor, to help him to know how to bond with his daughter.
Is the eerie music tutor Ruth's foul-smelling garden well a place where wishes happen or is Rosie in danger from which her ill father can still rescue her ?
Mister Kreasey's Demon
Village teacher, Matt Kreasey, is reduced to paranoia by the street-hardened students in his new inner-city London post.
His student, Amy, lets him glimpse at love, but could she, too, be one of those gathering with the hunting knife which has already ended the life of his colleague ?
Can a paranoid stop himself from destroying she, alone, who might have shown him what enduring love could be ?
Twists in the Tale (A Collection of psychological suspense, ghost stories and a romance)
In Vienna, schizophrenic, Sam Baldock, is haunted by Beethoven in A Musical Calling. Nurse Amanda is drawn into the wiles of a Harley Street hypnotist. The roots of a yew tree deliver more than sap in Family Tree. Emily is determined to 'reach out' to her dead husband.
Stories blending eeriness, suspense, tenderness and the poignancy of lives which could be yours when driven to extremity.
As the practices at his father's late-night museum ‘staff meetings’ unfold themselves to Pavlos, the boy is led deeper into a sinister confrontation with what Papa calls his ‘family', but which brings him, through the ancient face-masks and relics, to unquiet souls of Greeks believed to have been thousands of years dead.
A strong blend of eeriness, suspense, and an outsider's need to belong.
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