Read an excerpt from my debut novel

Illustrations copyright © Camilla Montemaggi, 2021

Curious to know what The Haunting of Lindy Pennyworth is like? Here’s your chance to read the opening of the book! You can also read the first few chapters for free if you visit Reading Zone – many thanks to them for hosting the content. Additionally, there is a short video of me talking about the book, my inspiration, and some tips for writing psychological horror!

I’m writing this in an old, blank notebook that I found in the common room. I keep it hidden inside my pillowcase and move it on laundry day, tucking it under the waistband of my jeans and covering any bulges with a loose jumper. I don’t want anyone seeing it. They’ll either take it away or use it as proof against me,
to keep me here even longer.

Everyone here thinks I’ve gone temporarily insane. ‘Psychosis’, they’re calling it. They say that grief has warped my mind, made me unstable, a danger to myself . . . That’s how they persuaded my mother to leave me in this hospital when, at first, she fought to take me home. They even threatened to put me under the temporary care of social services if she didn’t agree to me being sectioned.

That’s because they can’t accept the reality of what I told them happened to me. Their minds are too narrow, their outlook purely clinical. What they can’t see or touch or hear doesn’t exist. Tomorrow they’re starting me on medication to make me ‘normal’ again, so I’m rushing to write this down before the pills make me forget everything. Even if it takes me all night, I will ensure that I have a record of the last couple of weeks so I don’t start believing their patronising insistence that I’ve imagined everything because I’ve gone crazy with grief over my father’s death.

I’ve not hurt myself to give my grief a physical outlet ; the injuries are real and not self-inflicted. Every word of this account is true.

I am sane.

I can speak to the dead.

And they can speak to me.

The Haunting of Lindy Pennyworth is available from all good bookshops, including:



WH Smith

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