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Otley writer's struggle with dementia inspires first novel
11:00am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in Local news
A family member’s struggle with dementia has inspired the first novel by a promising Otley writer.
Michael Poyser, an NHS project officer by day, was encouraged to write his debut book after winning several online short story competitions.
The resulting Leaving Blue Town, which he has just self-published as a digital book on Amazon, describes a place that is expected to fall into the sea – a prospect driving many of the inhabitants to drink and pop “happy pills” or become violent or suicidal.
The story is a surreal study, in an absurdist style reminiscent of Kafka, into the vital role memories play in shaping our identities.
Mr Poyser, 35, said: “Leaving Blue Town is a surreal story of a town on the brink of destruction.
“Flynn, the main character, is desperate to leave, but the locals think he’s a traitor for doing so.
“His memories start to attack him and inflict physical pain and the town is not what it appears to be.
“The book’s central themes have a personal significance as a close relative of mine suffered from dementia and I saw over a short space of time how important memories are, not just to us individually, but also to family and friends.
“The main themes are memory and identity. I think memories are at the core of the human experience – they feed off our senses and since the rise of social networks it has become more apparent that people just love to reminisce.”
Citing writers like Flann O’Brien and Gabriel García Márquez as influences, he added: “I have an interest in surreal stories which aim to challenge reality.”
Leaving Blue Town is available online now.