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Emerging Writer Member Profile

Donal O Travers

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Member Bio:

My name is Donal Travers and I am a member of Garda National Immigration Bureau and a novice writer. I am 41 years old and live with my family in Dublin, Ireland. I suppose I have been writing stories since I was in Primary School and I would tend to go way beyond the assigned two pages. This would continue through Secondary School which very often left me tied for time with the rest of my homework. I suppose then through my twenties I abandoned my imagination and it wasn't until my mid thirties that I took pen to hand again. I have written a couple of short stories and have a few more ideas dancing around my head at the minute. I wrote a children's adventure story a few years ago and it has been sitting idle since. Whilst only family have read it I really think its time to introduce it to the world to see what it thinks.

Writing sample

In a tiny fishing village on the east coast of Ireland everything was quiet. The nightly darkness had engulfed most of the village with only a few street lamps and the glow from television sets illuminating small sections. Along the harbour walls the sea lapped gently forward and back making tiny splashes. The small beach appeared empty but looking closer you could make out the small figure of a cat slowly making its way from the sand onto the roadside. It paused outside a small bungalow along the road opposite the beach and looked around. Its green eyes scanned the area before it turned back towards the house and walked slowly through the gate.
It looked fairly ordinary but a boy lived in this small bungalow with his mother. A boy who according to the ancient mystic’s and the alignment of the stars possessed an unimaginable power. This boy was the world’s last hope and he was going to save all of humanity from a terrible end.
His name was Derek.
Inside this bungalow the boy called Derek was sitting in his bedroom.
He was terrified.
A droplet of sweat trickled down the side of his cheek and plopped onto his pyjama top, joining the hundreds of droplets that came before it. In fact, there was hardly a dry patch left. Derek was drenched in sweat. But he didn’t seem to notice.
He was sitting on his bed in his sweat soaked pyjamas. He hadn’t moved from this position for what seemed like hours. Outside of the house, the stillness of night was broken occasionally by the sounds of the waves from the close by sea trickling over the pebbles on the shore. His heart pounded frantically in his chest, his knuckles white as he clenched a pair of dirty rolled up socks to his chin. His eyes locked on the beast sitting before him. He may have blinked, but his eyes remained transfixed. He couldn’t remember when he last took a breath either.
The beast hadn’t moved much either.
It was big, no, it was colossal and covered in white fur. Derek stared at its pointed ears, feeling that they could hear his very thoughts. He gazed at its wide green eyes imagining them looking deep into his cowardly soul. Then there were its teeth. They were the biggest, most ginormous, pointiest, shiniest, whitest teeth he had ever seen.
Suddenly out of nowhere, Derek began to hum. He was staring at the beast’s teeth and now he was humming, a happy cheerful tune. In his head he was singing, ‘For that smiley shiny sunshine smile and a great minty taste, brush your teeth with snowman paste.’ It was stupid song from a stupid advert on the telly, sung by a silly looking man in a floppy woollen jumper. But Derek was still singing it.
Just as suddenly as he started humming, he stopped. He found himself back in his room, his little distraction had passed. He was still sweating, his knuckles still white, he was still gripping onto his dirty socks and his heart still pounded like a drum. He was still petrified.
How in heaven did he get distracted?
It was like that time he went to the furniture shop with his mother to get a new bed for his room. His mother was checking quality of mattresses and the strength of the bed frames of nearly every bed in the large store. Every question regarding innerspring coils or memory foam was asked over and over again. Derek was so bored that he ended up examining the inner workings of a big wardrobe, managed to get stuck inside. His mother was so distracted in choosing the proper bed that she had left the store only to return in a panic two hours later and with the assistance of two store workers found Derek asleep in the bottom of the wardrobe.
Again! Stop drifting off. He scolded himself.
An enormous beast was sitting just three feet away. So close, in fact, he could feel its warm breath blowing through his matted hair.
The beast sitting in Derek’s room was a giant white thing and it was staring right at him.
He had tried to scream for his mammy. Several times. But he could only manage a faint whine. That wasn’t exactly the actions of the hero he always pictured himself to be in his imagination.
That said, wasn’t Clark Kent always flying home to his mammy when things got tough, and he’s Superman. Peter Parker, or Spiderman, was constantly getting advice from his Aunt May. Batman had his butler to confide in. These superheroes all had someone to turn to. Derek had something, or someone, a little different.
He had a middle-aged woman who was addicted to television. He couldn’t get around just how much television she could sit through. Every day she sat watching hours and hours of it.
Derek’s mouth was beginning to feel dry. He was thirsty. Maybe he could encourage his body to move slowly off the bed and get to the kitchen. A cool glass of water would be just what he needed, or maybe a glass of milk.
‘Milk is good for your teeth. It makes them strong and healthy. Beastie must have been drinking a lot of milk to get teeth that white.’
“Concentrate Derek” he scolded himself. “This is real life.”
Or is it real?
It is a strange reality where these weird unusual things are happening to him.
Things are happening here that wouldn’t normally happen. It’s not like he had gotten an invitation to Hogwarts, or had he? Was it mixed up with the pile of comics on his bedroom floor? Maybe the beast is a messenger from Dumbledore.
Cop on, Derek.
Hogwarts is only make-believe, this is real life. This is strange, though.
Weird, strange things are happening. Suspicious occurrences.
It’s not every day strange creatures jump into your room through the open window and then just sits and stares at you.
But what is this beast doing? The jaws are moving. Maybe it was chewing.

Current project

I am working on my first novel, a children's story called Derek, The Hero.
Just recently I've completed my manuscript. I have set about my search for an agent/publisher who will hopefully guide my story onto the bookshelves of children across the country by sending out submissions.
I have also completed two picture book stories and have started a new adventure story.

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