Horror stories cheered author through operation recovery

A painful knee operation became a boon for Les Pobjie, with a collection of short horror stories he wrote during recovery a milestone for the journalist of more than 40 years.

He speaks with more than a murmur of pride about the other two authors in his family — daughter Emily Maguire released her sixth book Fishing for Tigers, while son Ben lent his comedic flair to The Book of Bloke within the same six months that his book, Murmurs in the Night, was released.

The tales bring a chilling twist to mundane events, from driving home to reality cooking competitions.

‘‘Almost every one of them starts with a what if in my mind,’’ Mr Pobjie said.

‘‘An ordinary situation in life, but suddenly what if something a bit different happened?

‘‘A lot of creepy stories in the past have been set in old mansions and that sort of thing, so ...hopefully [the everyday element] makes them a little bit more chilling.’’

Mr Pobjie began to write each story in March last year after a total knee replacement.

His target — to write 10 short stories by the end of the year — became a welcome distraction from physiotherapy during a two month recovery period.

In August a first draft was complete and the book was published in January.

‘‘For many years I’ve watched proudly as my son and my daughter published book after book after book, and attend public speaking, writers festivals and so on and they were living my dream,’’ he said.

‘‘For many years I’ve been encouraging them and now it’s good that they are suddenly encouraging me.’’

Mr Pobjie said he was blessed to be able to write quickly and that ideas formed easily.

‘‘I think maybe my job helps with that - having clean, crisp copy without unnecessary words.

 ‘‘I’m quite pleased with a couple of the endings. Hopefully they hit you maybe a few seconds or a minute or two later.’’

Murmurs In the Night is available through Amazon as a paperback or e-book.

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