STORYLINES and words swirl around in Maryann Weston’s mind until she can take no more.
The former Goulburn Post editor, turned public relations director and author says there must be an out for her writing.
“I love to create stories,” she said.
“I sit down with a gut feeling and a storyline that’s been going around in my head for sometimes a year or two.
“It just sits there and it’s almost like a compulsion.”
That compulsion has resulted in three published books, the latest being ‘Dawn of the Shadowcasters: The Stevie Vegas Chronicles’ published in May by Lodestone Books.
It is a stand-alone book aimed at young adults but also the second in a trilogy which started with ‘Shadowscape,’ published by Lodestone in 2012.
The story taps into Mrs Weston’s love of ‘a good yarn’ and rich imagination.
Intertwined are an interest in the paranormal, the spiritual and a sense of social justice.
Stevie Vegas is not your normal 13- year-old kid, aside from the skateboarding that is. Equipped with extrasensory perception, he is an ‘illuminator’ able to shed light on darkness or evil. In the first book he defeats the aptly named ‘Shadowcasters’ and his nemesis, Jacob Barron, through his skateboarding skills and by harnessing all his powers. It carries strong themes of anti-bullying and the importance of making the right choices in life.
The sequel picks up on the Shadowcasters’ quest for revenge.
It’s one year later and the Vegas family has moved back to their hometown, Valley Dale, where his parents try to resume their veterinary practice.
Stevie’s nightmares return and soon after, the Shadowcasters are back in town.
On a smaller scale, it’s a tussle between the now bolstered bullies at the skate park and in the business world. On the larger stage, it’s a battle between good and evil. On both fronts there are bruises along the way.
In the sequel, old favourites like Stevie’s Auntie Bessie return. She is also an illuminator who imbues her nephew with good advice and wisdom, convincing him he has to embrace rather than ignore his powers in the fight for his family’s future.
“He has realised he has to evolve and grow these powers so burying his head in the sand and thinking he’s a normal 13-year-old skateboarder just doesn’t work for him anymore,” Mrs Weston said.
“The Shadowcasters have come out in full force and it’s very much darkest before the dawn for Stevie.
He faces a lot of trials and tribulations and it’s fairly action packed.”
The book carries important themes, such as friendship and life choices. With backs against the wall, individually a person can be weak, but with friendship and support, they are strong. Stevie finds this in Mary Lou, the daughter of a Shadowcaster and illuminator and an accomplished moto-cross rider.
There’s also Bren, a martial arts expert, sage and fellow illuminator.
“Stevie learns to have faith in himself and in the choices he makes; to keep fighting the good fight,” Mrs Weston said.
While not revealing the ending, the author says the book is designed to be a page turner with a climax and a shock conclusion.
The story took six months to write. While Mrs Weston had always intended to write a sequel, she was urged on by family and friends wanting to know ‘what happened next.’ Writing has been in her blood since her early school days in Young. It grew as a journalist with several newspapers including the Goulburn Post and later as editor of this newspaper from 1999 to 2003.
Mrs Weston was a policy advisor to the federal Department of Agriculture before joining Vibe Australia, an indigenous multi media and events group with an office in Goulburn. She is head of Vibe’s public relations and writes for its monthly magazine. Mrs Weston is also a qualified teacher and counsellor.
She has a strong interest in the paranormal and the power of nature, both of which influence her writing.
“I overlay a lot of stuff with spiritualism because I am a spiritual person but I feel that when you write through intuition you tap into a universal knowledge and that seems to be what guides me,” she told the Post.
Immediately after completing ‘Dawn of the Shadowcasters,’ Mrs Weston embarked on another book, ‘Belonging Places,’ a work close to her heart about three women at various stages of life facing major decisions.
‘Dawn of the Shadowcasters’ is available as an e-book or print edition through Lodestone Books or Amazon websites.
‘Belonging Places’ can also be purchased through Amazon.