A Bonhill author who published her first novel while shielding herself during the pandemic has now launched her second book.
Loren Fox released The Oaken Ambience last September, with the second installment of the Broken trilogy, The Awoken Juncture, due out earlier this month.
And the NHS appeals handler admits writing the novels has changed his life during lockdown.
She explained: “I was more of an amateur novelist to start with. It was, however, never something I planned to push forward to release. I think I lacked a bit of self-confidence.
“I am immunocompromised so I was put on pandemic protection and that meant I had a lot of free time, to say the least.
“It was life changing to have him work during the shutdowns.
“I didn’t have much to focus on during the first lockdown. I had just moved into my first property and was completely isolated. Towards the end of my first protection, I decided to start writing – but then I went back to work.
“When we were confined again, I decided to focus properly. It was the only thing I did, day and night, I lost days where I was stuck in this other world. It was really nice to have that to focus on when the world was shut down.
“The Broken Trilogy was a series I had been working on for a while on my own. Once I had all my free time, I decided to put a lot more effort into it and work on it as if I intended to publish it.
“I passed it out to my friends and family to get started and see what the general reception was going to be. Once I got a positive response from them, they said I should look into getting it published.
“I decided I wanted to at least have my own book on my own shelf because I’m quite an avid reader. I felt like it would be cool. But it was very nerve-wracking to get it published.
“When it came out in September it did a lot better than I expected.”
Loren hopes her work, while based in a fictional world, helps explore very real issues.
She continued, “It’s a psychological thriller-type story. It’s mostly focused on kidnapping my main character.
“The first book follows the journey to the abduction. It’s told in first person, so although it’s completely fictional, it’s quite personal and intimate.
“A lot of critics said people forget it’s fiction.
“I wanted there to be a deeper inner message throughout my writing.
“The content is pretty tough, and a lot of the emotion and the struggle highlights aspects of mental health that I’m trying to define throughout. I hope they can send a bigger message about mental health awareness.
“The first book focuses on depression and anxiety and the second looks at post-traumatic stress and recovering from that.
“I’ve done a lot of research on mental health and I hope I’ve done a good job of raising awareness about it.”
However, the 27-year-old admitted that fans eager to see the latest installment in the series will have to be patient.
Loren added, “It was a quick release for The Awoken Juncture, but I had already worked on that when I released The Oaken Ambience.
“I returned to full-time work in August and am taking some time for myself before working on the finale which should be out next year.”
The Broken series is available for purchase or download on Amazon.