Ashburton author Leith Naughton has released his debut novel, Victim.
It’s a psychological thriller.
The 38-year-old full-time line mechanic started the book three years ago.
It was a way to relax after work.
‘‘I decided I’ve just got to do it,’’ Naughton said.
‘‘I’ve always wanted to write. Always enjoyed writing.’’
Naughton, married to Stacey, and father of three children, aged 17, 11 and 10, writes mostly at night.
He is an avid fan of American author Stephen King, so it was no surprise he was drawn into the genre.
He shut himself away in a small office space in the heart of the family home and the words took over.
‘‘When I write, I just write what I feel like writing … and this turned out to be what it was.’’
He said it was a story exploring the mind of the abused.
It opened a window allowing people to understand the effects mental abuse could have on the mind of others, and the psyche of the abused in adulthood.
Naughton’s three-year journey has come after a lifelong enjoyment of writing, which evolved into a dream to write a novel.
‘‘I used to always write friends and family little nonsense poems for their birthdays and things like that,’’ he said.
There is no plan in his writing style.
It is a novel he wrote from beginning to end jotting down a few ideas along the way.
“It’s very disorganised,” he said of his note process.
Naughton tried setting a target of writing 1000 words a day, but said that did not work.
“The actual writing side took 12 months. I’d sit down at the computer and write as much as I could.
“I figured as long as I wrote five words a day, it was better than no words.”
He enjoyed the process, the learning challenges with self publishing, and owning the final product now available for $20 paperback copies, electronically at Amazon Kindle or via Amazon.
The characters were not based on anyone in particular, he said.
“No-one can tell me it’s wrong, it can’t be wrong, I made it up.”
The story is based around the central character, Mark, embarking on a new chapter in his life following a less than desirable upbringing.
An ill twist of fate sees him lost in the Southern Alps, alongside a friendly, but odd, Russian companion who teaches him how to survive in the wilderness.
Mark learns early-on his companion is hiding some big secrets.
As the time passes, he starts to question the integrity of the man sharing the mountainous prison with him.
He even starts questioning whether the man is real or not.
Naughton did his linesman training at EA Networks, before a move to Lemacon.
He returned to EA Networks earlier this year, and is now writing his next novel. It’s a prequel to Victim.
“I’d like to do one a year. It’s relaxing,’’ he said.
‘‘It lets me wind down, it’s not strenuous to sit down and write.’’
“You just need some sort of release, and writing is a release.”
■ Copies of Victim, by Leith Naughton of Ashburton can be bought in paperback or ebook via Amazon.com.au