Carrickfergus-based tattoo artist penned horror novel during lockdown

A tattoo artist who was forced to close his business during lockdown has told of how he used the time to pursue his dream of writing a book.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 3:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 5:22 pm

Carrickfergus man Neill Morris (31) will release his debut novel, horror saga Elmwood, on the October 4.

A professional tattoo artist and owner of Shoreline Tattoo in Whiteabbey Village, Neill has always had a love for creative writing. “Ever since I was a kid I loved all things horror,” he said.

“My first introduction to horror literature was the Goosebumps books by RL Stine when I was 8 or 9 years old, and later evolved into Stephen King, Robert McCammon and Ray Bradbury.

Neill Morris.

“I wrote several short stories when I was younger. When I was 21, I wrote and directed my first short film, ‘Seven Minutes’,which went on to win a couple of awards. I always have story ideas in my head and I’ve always wanted to write a novel, but I let my dyslexia stop me pursuing it. In November 2019, I finally decided to give it a go.”

During the first lockdown in March 2020, Neill had to temporarily close his tattoo studio. “The free time I gained, I used to work on the second and third draft of the manuscript, tightening the story with every draft. I completed the final draft in July 2021,” said the married dad-of-one.

Elmwood tells the story of Aidan, who, since discovering a body at the side of the road, has been plagued by horrific, recurring nightmares.

He and his wife, Laura, decide to leave Fallbridge City and the chaos behind them for some peace and quiet at a beautiful Victorian home called the Lake House, nestled at the edge of the forest that surrounds the picturesque town of Elmwood.

The novel is being self-published on October 4 and will be available in paperback and e-book format.

Copies will also be available from Carrick bookstore The Secret Bookshelf.

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