Burgess Hill author goes back to his haunted childhood

Burgess Hill author Alec Hepburn has gone back to his own haunted childhood for the second part of his Ivyford Chronicles.

Alec Hepburn
Alec Hepburn

Time and Time Again is a thriller set in the coastal Devon town of Teignmouth.

1949. In a small, terraced house in Teignmouth, George Taylor is bludgeoned to death by his wife Nancy.

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1975. Six-year-old Heidi Jennings receives a visit in her bedroom in the same terraced house from a woman who isn’t really there. Time fractures and days later Heidi’s parents are found stabbed to death in the early hours of the morning.

2018. On a windy clifftop, following a showdown with a couple of local thugs, DI Blake watches in amazement as a man appears out of nowhere and runs straight off the cliff,

Alec, who now lives in Burgess Hill, admits much of his new book is based on his frightening experiences as a child.

“The house in the novel is the exact house that I lived in when I lived in Teignmouth.

“The house was, I believe, haunted

“And the origins of the story are rooted in events that we experienced as a family.

“My youngest sister used to talk to someone that she called The Funny Lady, which was the inspiration for the character of Nancy Taylor in Time and Time Again.

“I think writing this book was my own way of making sense of the events at the time that were so unsettling.

“By taking those events and shaping them into a story of my own making, giving them my own explanation, I felt it was almost like reclaiming a part of my childhood that was difficult to look back on.”

It was key to the book as Alec explains.

“Other parts of Time and Time Again were inspired by different events and people, but the bulk of the story was influenced by events of my childhood.”

Just over two years since the publication of Stand Against the Dark, Alec has brought many of the characters from his debut back to the page.

The second book in the Ivyford Chronicles brings together a sceptical detective and an autistic teenager to solve a series of murders and other sinister events over the decades in a seemingly quiet village.

The book straddles time and dimensions as an evil spirit is hell-bent on revenge, explains Alec.

The 47-year-old, who is influenced by authors including as James Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Ben Aaronovitch, added: “Time and Time Again is about a vengeful spirit and multiple murders set across three separate time zones.

“It’s also about governmental conspiracies dating back to the end of World War Two and a fracture in time that sees characters stranded in the past.

“And it’s about people paying the price for the actions of their ancestors.”

As well as writing the first two parts of the Ivyford Chronicles, Alec has had short stories published in Doctor Who charity anthologies.

He is also an established poet.

Away from writing, Alec works as a carer and a cricket coach.

The book is available from Amazon.

It has been published by PublishNation.