Everybody has a book in them, or so it's said. But it's something else again getting it onto the page and to a place where it might be shared.

I have been writing since I was a young child. Always, my dream was to see my name on the spine of a book. Books gave me life, a dream to live by. Through their portals I could escape so easily into other worlds. Books also saved my life ... yes, really!

This is the story of my books and my journey as an author, including a very personal view of my journey through Life. I hope it will inspire and give hope to writers and readers young and old.

Getting published can be a waiting game. It's hard .. and getting harder. But then sometimes it can happen in an unexpected way and suddenly, we truly are living our dream. And we realise that it isn't after all the winning that is important, but the journey that is ours along the way.

I would love to hear from anyone who connects with what is written here. A signed copy of any of my books is available. You have only to write and ask:

Sunday 12 October 2014


by Janine Harrington
published by Austin Macauley, 
31 October 2014, ISBN: 9781849635257

Joe Maddison has gained a name for himself for unravelling historical mysteries. After solving the wartime riddle involving his own family, this time he has to travel further into the past and delve into someone else's dark family secrets.

While holidaying in the heart of England, Joe and his wife Laura are asked to help unravel a 160 year old puzzle which has grown into a family legend and a ghost story. As they begin to dig into the disappearances of Connor and Isabella, young lovers from opposite ends of the Victorian social spectrum, it seems that the prejudices and presumptions of that era have survived down the ages.

It soon becomes clear that for Joe there might be more at stake than at first he thought, and his previous investigation may not be completely closed.

This is a book which represents for me the best I can offer in writing in the fiction genre. It became so precious, so personal, so much a part of me, I didn't want it to end, and lived through a real grieving process when once it was done, with the characters of Connor and Isabella still very much a part of me and my life. The best part about it is that the places in the book actually exist. It is for the reader to follow the clues.

An interview already completed for this publication is something I would like to share, because it offers a glimpse into what happens behind the scenes, the things which inspire me to write, and the way often life can mirror the story coming through:


     How did you come up with the title?

The title was born out of the saying: sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction. Sometimes we prefer the legend to how history played out in real terms. Often it can be simpler to leave things well alone

    Who is your intended audience, and why should they read your book?

This book is written for those who enjoy delving into family history and the past, finding out about myths and legends, understanding how and why things came to be. The places in this book do exist. It is possible to visit and therefore grasp the emotion behind the characters, and to see the places described in real time. Again, it is about following the clues – a mystery within a mystery, or so it would seem!

Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?

Don’t be afraid to get involved! On the other hand, be prepared for the unexpected if that’s what you do. Every event in this life presents a challenge. At that point where you stand at a crossroads or a fork in the road, trust your instincts. The moral behind this book is about working together towards a common goal, and how even just one person can make a difference!

What inspires you and motivates you to write the most?

Life experience! Often it feels as if I have lived many lives in the one … read my website to understand more – For me, there is no such thing as fiction. Every book is built around life and experience, people we meet, strangers who become friends and soulmates, shadows which follow us on from the past and the gathering emotion they bring with them. Often the future appears hauntingly beautiful. At other times it can be marred by those shadows which stay with us until the end of Time. In everything we do there are lessons to be learned. It is our challenge in life to be the best that we can, and to give freely to others. I have been inspired by great pain, by emotions that ran so deep I never thought I would survive; I have also been inspired by joy and laughter and love … particularly that which comes from loving and being loved, life’s greatest gift of all.
Location and life experience can sprinkle their influence in your writing. Tell us about where you grew up and a little about where you live now. If you could live anywhere you wanted to live, where would that be?

I grew up in the south of England, in a land of magic and wonderment created by my parents. Born disabled, it was the stories my mother told me from as far back as I can remember which gave me promise and hope, something I wanted to be a part of. A very real part of me grew up in a world that wasn’t real, a world that didn’t exist except in our imagination, born of love, and a need to cherish and protect. In the shadows I learned that dragons and beasties really did exist. They controlled and challenged me for years, hidden just out of sight, but never out of mind. It took me tens of years before I was able finally to face those demons and take back control. I have written of these experiences in books which can be found on Amazon under my profile, and which became a cathartic part of moving on. It is also my hope that these books will support others and give them the courage to confront their fears and know they are not alone.

  Today I live with my husband, Tony, on the coast in the North East of England, and I cannot think of anywhere I would rather be. We married last year after a few years together, while Jo my daughter, is a free spirit, travelling the world in search of places to live and be. She married this year, and she is someone of whom I remain immensely proud for everything she has already achieved and which is yet to be. This book is dedicated to her, and to Tony who continues to share my journeyings. 

Tell us something personal about yourself that people may be surprised to know?

Born under the sign of Cancer, I am a Home-Maker, Home-Lover, someone who is strong for others, and yet often impossibly useless at helping herself. The motto I live by is that, out of every negative must come a positive … the greater the negative, the more that positive must be. I have almost died, and this challenge I set myself has always somehow pulled me through. The strongest part about me is my faith, and in the connectivity of people … those we meet, those who are a part of our family, those who will always remain strangers. It is the reason I will always help and support someone in need. Previous work experience has always been involved with people living on the edge – homeless, addicts, offenders in and out of prison, victims/survivors, disabled, older people, unemployed, excluded young people. Apart from prison, drug or alcohol abuse, my life mirrors their experience, and I feel a common bond.

Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?

There are so many it’s difficult to choose, but I would love to spend time again with my mother who became my soulmate before she died from cancer in 1996. She never saw or read any of the kind of books I am writing now, never saw the positivity I can generate. I was in a dark place when she died, and she was afraid I would follow her.

  To me she was famous because of everything she achieved. She too was a writer, a potential author, who gave up her ambition to support my father follow his own dream.

  I would also love to meet, talk and share with her wartime fiancĂ© Henry Victor (Vic) Vinnell who was killed suddenly on such a secret operation it is still not known, 70 years on, what he was involved in or where his final resting place might be. My mother never got over his death. Again, I have written their love story in a book entitled: ‘Nina & Vic: A World War II Love Story’, so in a very real way they both became very special, very important to me, people I love, and who in their own way became famous.

        Which writers inspire you?

My childhood inspirations were Enid Blyton, her stories filled with so much mystery and suspense I was always wishing for something unexpected to happen to follow through the clues myself. I went on to John Creasey who wrote in many guises more adult thrillers, meaningful plots, where the characters of people were teased into doing things they might never have done. Richard Bach is always a favourite, starting with ‘Jonathan Livingstone Seagull’ which I read over and over again, together with ‘One’, and ‘Bridge Across Forever’. These days, I enjoy Lee Child and following the thrilling adventures of Jack Reacher. However, in complete contrast, I also cannot get enough of books about reincarnation and the Afterlife, following the writings of Dr Brian Weiss, Carol Bowman and Michael Newton. They offer a completely alternative perspective about life, and at the same time answer so many searching questions, while generating so many more. It is these books which have inspired me to seek my own regression therapy, which I will share on my website as it happens.

     What are your ambitions for your writing career?

My one burning ambition is to have published a book about RAF 100 Group, bringing together the many voices of veterans who served in this secret group during WWII, and who never received recognition or a medal for their work with the Resistance, SOE, SOD, and identifying and jamming enemy radar. I have a book written and ‘ready to roll’ which means so much to so many, when Time is running out for them and their deepest need is to see their words in print, to know that their history and stories are preserved for the future and generations to come.

  Otherwise, I am a passionate and prolific writer. My life wouldn’t be complete without using this gift. I love writing about life, the people I meet, the many gateways to different ways of learning through experience. I will never tire of this … only the publication of my writings holds me back from doing more.

What are your expectations for this book? 

That readers will want to step through the portal offered and climb on tight for the roller-coaster ride with its unexpected twists and turns, feeling the story as if it were their own … leaving them with an unquenchable thirst to find out more and a need to read the first book ‘STONE COLD DEAD’, published by Austin Macauley if they haven’t already, but then wait until the next emerges again featuring Joe Maddison, with the writing already in progress.

  I hope many readers will enjoy these stories where the places are real, and by following the clues, it is possible to sit at a table by the same canal as Joe and Laura Maddison, imagining the way it might have been for them. The book is so real for me I didn’t want it to end, and I have the clearest picture of Connor and Isabella sitting at my side, wanting people to know them, to find out about their life, their love, and for the book to reach readers for whom this will become a book which touches their hearts.

Is there anything else you'd like to say? 

There is still one further book at least yet to be completed featuring Joe Maddison and the mystery that still hangs over his life, reaching back to the war. And there are others, tugging at my heart, aching to be written, reminding me, stirring me lest I become complacent, wishing only that they reach a wider public and are enjoyed by all.