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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 Jan. 16, 2012 :
If you don't mind an author who obviously enjoys playing with language and you're prepared to occasionally re-read a passage for the layers of meaning, then Twists in the Tale delivers the thrill of the unexpected and, I thought, without falling into the contrived.
I could live with the characters and not easily forget them, even though they're not all the type you'd like to meet on a dark night down a narrow alley or, for that matter, on a Harley Street hypnotist's couch in London, as in "Voices of a Hypnotist".
On the whole, short on gore but a quality read.
Traces of Hitchcock in Nickford's style, each story being a mischievous but satisfying "twist" as the title promises.
(reviewed the day of purchase)