Island inspires debut novel

The iconic North East setting of Holy Island has inspired writer Chris Ord to fulfil his lifelong dream and write his debut novel.

A 46-year-old father of four, Chris accepted voluntary redundancy from Gateshead Council in August 2016. He left his job of 15 years in education policy and announced that he was going to write a novel.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to write a book and I saw an opportunity and went for it. Some close family members had passed away recently and it made me realise that you have to grab chances when they come.

“I had ideas and a few things I’d written that I wasn’t happy with. A good friend of mine has a cottage on Holy Island. One night we were chatting about life on the island and a story began to form in my head.

“When I got home that night I wrote the outline and took it from there.”

The finished novel, titled Becoming, is a coming of age story, but with a dark twist.

It follows a group of teenagers trapped on the island. The old world has ended and they are being raised and educated by the community, a harsh, brutal, primitive regime that governs through control and fear.

Though a few eyebrows were raised when Chris gave up his job to write, he has no regrets and would recommend others follow their dreams.

He added: “I’m a great believer in finding what you love and doing it.

“We see those memes on social media all the time about seizing the day and making your dreams happen. Maybe we see them too often now and they’ve lost their impact. The message is still true though. Just remind yourself and have the courage to go for it.”

Becoming is available from Amazon in paperback and ebook from September 23.