A Whitehead author has drawn inspiration from the local area for his second mystery adventure novel, set in the fictional town of ‘Ballymagee’.
David Allen’s The Bone Whisperer, which is aimed at kids aged 10 to 14, is the second in his series The Adventures of George and Flanagan.
The tale follows 12-year-old George and his faithful dog Flanagan as they follow a treasure map found in the prequel book, The Headmaster’s Cave.
“I drew inspiration from the fact that Whitehead and Islandmagee used to be used by smugglers,” David told the Times.
“I grew up in Whitehead and in Maghaberry village, and in the book Ballymagee’ bigwig Tam McMaster is planning to build a new property development right where the ‘X’ marks the spot on the childrens’ treasure map.
“This would destroy a local beauty spot which used to be a quarry and where lots of animals now live.
“There is an environmental aspect to the book as the kids have to stop the development not only to find the treasure but also to save the animals and the beauty spot.”
The story also has a paranormal element, as George realises that he possesses a strange gift and the curse of the mysterious White Lady strikes again.
“This character is inspired by Red Hall Manor near Ballycarry and the Islandmagee witch trials, when women were wrongly accused of being witches,” David explained.
“There is a sense that she is seeking peace.”
David, who writes under the pen name DS Allen, says it was important to him to incorporate his native area into his writing.
“It means a lot to me to be able to write and represent Islandmagee and Whitehead in my novels,” he continued.
“George isn’t based on myself but there are elements of me in him through my memories such as Flanagan, who was my own dog, and all the places I remember from my childhood in Islandmagee and Whitehead.
The Bone Whisperer is available now on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.