• 31 March 2022

Bookworms at a Devon bungalow development have been treated to a literary masterclass – from local author Peter L. Barnes. 

Bungalow owners at RoyaleLife’s Regency Court in Newton Abbot, were treated to an afternoon with the author of children’s book series ‘The Caverns’, who shared his creative process as well as tips on how budding writers can get their own work published.

Peter, who is also an owner at the luxury development for the over 45's, began writing after the loss of his daughter, who passed away in 2006.

While navigating his grief, Peter, a retired IT expert, was encouraged to put pen to paper by his wife in order to keep his mind busy.

Using his local coffee shop to write, Peter soon found that he was a natural, and within 12 years he had written over 300,000 words in the form of four children’s novels and fifty short stories.

Peter said: “After experiencing a vivid dream, I decided to write a modern day ‘Famous Five’ book about a group of teens who love their technology. A tragedy interrupts their summer fun when a sibling goes missing and clues to her whereabouts are hidden in the games they play.

“Set in Cornish tin mines where my ancestors toiled, these are a collection of sagas filled with adventure, bravado, and a few moral truths, as the team battle monsters from both above and below ground.”

Reviews from Peter’s first novel, Caverns of the Lost Soul, were hugely positive, and readers were left hungry for more tales from the fearless quintet.

The sequel, Dungeons of the Darkest Dream, and a prequel titled Magical Potters, followed. The fourth book in the series was titled Madness of the Mithras Monsters, which was released in 2021.

Peter added: “Writing gives me new goals after a lifetime in the rat race. It’s vital for my mental health as well as my cognitive function, and it truly gives me a sense of excitement in the morning to know I have something to do every day.

“When I first started writing I decided to write in my daughter’s honour, so my main character was a feisty girl. The first book is dedicated to her.

“Then on a writing course, we were asked to create a short story with an emotional theme, at which point my emotions got the better of me and I had to stop reading. This meant I had to explain to the group why I was embarking on a writer’s journey, telling them about my daughter, which allowed me to openly discuss my emotions for the first time.”

Sue Hunt, RoyaleLife Sales Executive, and organiser of the event said: “What a huge privilege to have Peter share his story and expertise with the Regency Court community. We all had a fantastic time and learnt so much.

“The benefits of writing for the mind are vast. Even if you don’t fancy writing a novel, regular writing, such as journaling, can be incredibly impactful.”

Peter spoke at Regency Court, a modern pet-friendly leisure development near the historic market town of Newton Abbot. 

There is a friendly and welcoming community lifestyle, close to the stunning Devon countryside and a range of fantastic amenities.