Fort William, Scotland – Award-winning children’s author, Barry Hutchison, 41, has adopted an alter ego and embarked on a bestselling career in crime-writing – and it’s all thanks to the disappearing act pulled by his then seven-year-old daughter.
While out walking near their home in the Highlands of Scotland, Barry and his daughter, Mia, lost sight of their Golden Retriever, Quinn, when she ran off into the woods. After instructing Mia to wait on the path, Barry set off in search of the dog.
When he emerged from the trees a few minutes later, however, he was horrified to find his daughter gone.
“Everything just sort of stopped,” Barry explains. “Time. My heart. Everything. We were miles from anywhere, and she’d just vanished into thin air. As a parent, it’s one of your worst fears, and I was convinced that someone must have taken her.”
Luckily for Barry, his terror was short-lived, and came to an end when the returning Quinn sniffed out the seven-year-old hiding in a bush and quietly giggling to herself.
During the drive home, Barry, who has written for publishers including HarperCollins, Nosy Crow, Little Tiger, and Penguin Random House, began to wonder what would have happened if his daughter really had gone missing.
“The more I thought about it, the more on edge I felt,” says Barry. “And the faster my heart started beating, the more I thought, ‘I have to write this story.’”
Two years later, and adopting the pen name JD Kirk, Barry published ‘A Litter of Bones,’ the novel inspired by his daughter’s disappearing act. Beginning on the very same stretch of path that Barry and his daughter were walking on, it tells the story of a missing child, a frantic search, and a detective whose past is about to catch up with him.
Originally published exclusively in ebook format, where it sold over 50,000 copies and became an Amazon number-one bestseller, audiobook and paperback editions are now also available.
So high was demand for the first book that it prompted Barry to continue the series, with two more books – ‘Thicker Than Water’ and ‘The Killing Code’ - already published, and plans in place for three further instalments.
“I don’t recommend misplacing a child as a strategy that other authors should necessarily follow,” laughs Barry. “But it goes to show that inspiration can come from some pretty unlikely places.”
‘A Litter of Bones’ by JD Kirk is available to order from bookshops now, priced £8.99. The ebook edition is available online at http://mybook.to/lob
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Zertex Media Ltd, on Tuesday 12 November, 2019. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/