It may have been the heavy rain clouds that clung stubbornly to the evening’s skyline, or then again it was perhaps the bewitching touch of Mary Holmes’ floral arrangements. Regardless, there is no denying the sense of magic in the air at the official launch of ‘Witch’, a début novel by Edgeworthstown man, Lorne Patterson.
The event, which was held at Longford County Library on Thursday June 14 last, was a night of many firsts. Not only was ‘Witch’ the first ebook (May 2012) to come from a County Longford writer, but it was also the first book cover and portrait painting undertaken by young Longford artist, Lorraine Masters.
“This is also the first time we have hosted a book launch where all the the proceeds are going to Longford Women’s Link (LWL). I would like to compliment Lorne on his generosity in this,” said Longford County Librarian, Mary Carleton Reynolds in addressing those gathered.
She added: “It is also the first event attended by Cllr Peggy Nolan in her new role as Longford County Mayor.”
The new mayor spoke of her first meeting with Lorne Patterson: “I met Lorne five or six years ago. It was at a meeting to set up a drugs programme for Longford. Lorne had a concept that has been worked upon and is now in place today. That is his true legacy to Longford.”
The début novel, which took ten years to complete, was officially launched by Louise Lovett of LWL, an organisation where Lorne was previously employed.
“Lorne spent many years with LWL. His primary role was in championing entrepreneurship among women. This time with LWL has given Lorne a clear understanding of the violence and abuse experienced by women today,” she said.
She continued: “Prior to working at LWL Lorne was a psychiatric nurse and a champion of drug abuse rehab. Originally from Scotland, he has also travelled extensively.”
Referring to ‘Witch’, Ms Lovett said: “Lorne has expertly woven together all aspects of his life experience. It is a cannot-put-down reading experience.”
This opinion has been shared by many Amazon reviewers with comments such as ‘page-turner’, ‘fast and brutal’, ‘masterly’ and ‘addictive plot’ being cited on the popular website.
Finally, it was time for the man himself to read an extract from his compelling work. Prior to indulging the audience with his literary words, the author paid tribute to the role of Mary Carleton Reynolds, Fergus Kennedy (Longford Arts Officer) and the Longford library team in their support of Longford’s writing community. He also spoke of the work of Longford’s county and town councillors in this regard.
“Finally, I would like to thank Ballymahon Writers’ Group who were there when ‘Witch’ was no more than a bizarre idea,” said Lorne who was joined on the night by his wife Beatrice and daughter, Tara.
‘Witch’ is available on Amazon.com and also in local bookstores, including Grafton Court Bookshop.