Mike’s spooky story

Mike Martin, Downall Green Road has had his first book accepted by a Canadian publisher and is now hoping his book is a huge success as he writes his second novel
Mike Martin, Downall Green Road has had his first book accepted by a Canadian publisher and is now hoping his book is a huge success as he writes his second novel
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YOU might just recognise some of the locations referred to in a spooky new supernatural novel.

That’s because engineer-turned-author Mike Martin’s first ever book - the 360-page Screams In The Woods - is set in the former mining hotbeds of Haydock and Earlestown!

But, in the interest of poetic licence, Mike, 49, of Ashton, changed the names of both places to Felsworth and Cranshaw, respectively.

He did, however, mention St Helens in the plot, as well as loosely basing another key location on Crank caverns.

Mike said: “I started writing Screams In The Woods in early 2008 and finished the first draft just over a year later. I then joined Ashton Writers Group and ended up cutting about 20,000 words from the original draft - without altering the plot.

“It was pretty daunting waiting to hear what other people thought of my work. It’s a very personal thing and I’ve put my heart and soul into it.

“There were lots of miners on my mum’s side of the family and my grandad used to tell me stories about life down the pits when I was younger too.

“Then, when I moved back to Ashton 11 years ago, those stories all came flooding back and I felt compelled to finally put pen to paper.”

Screams In The Woods tells the tale of the mysterious disappearance of two local men after they start researching an old pit disaster.

One man’s car is found near to local woods but, despite a string of rumours circulating the area, nobody can fathom exactly what happened until a small private investigation company is finally brought in.

Printed by small Canadian publishing house BeWrite, Screams In The Woods is available in paperback on the Amazon website now, priced £13.20.

Mike added: “Despite my engineering background I always had ambitions to write and should probably have done it years ago.

“I’ve always been interested in supernatural stories and have been influenced by the works of M R James, Nigel Kneale and early Stephen King. They’ve all got incredible imaginations.

“I’ve made a start on my second novel already too.

“It follows a similar theme and I’m already about 16,000 words in.”