Yesterday evening I was invited along to the Reading Room Candle Company in Belfast as guest author to chat about my third novel The Blue Man. The event was also live streamed on Instagram with other book club members joining from other parts of the UK and beyond.

It was interesting to discuss the nature of urban legends and folklore, particularly in Belfast, which has a rich history of ghost stories and I was fascinated to hear so many bogeyman tales local to parks or areas across the city. It helps explain why so many readers have asked me if the titular character in my book is based on a real urban legend; I hope it isn’t disappointing to know that The Blue Man is entirely a figment of my imagination. But the inspiration came from real events, as I discussed in an earlier blog post.

We chatted generally about spirits and hauntings, and of haunted dolls. I was able to share that one of the reasons why I like horror so much is that I enjoy experiencing the creeping feeling you get when you’re watching a scary movie or reading a supernatural book. The need to look back over my shoulder or behind the sofa is something I drew upon when writing The Blue Man and I’m happy that readers found it creepy and suspenseful; at least judging by some of the reviews.

The Candle Company is owned by Sara, who sells vegan candles and products worldwide. The shop is a lovely setting for a book club; not only because of the gorgeous interior decoration, which at the moment has a yuletide theme, but because of the scent. It was fragrant from the aroma of candles and bath bombs, and as some of the newer products are inspired by winter mythology such as the story of the Holly King and Oak King, definitely fitting for discussions of a supernatural nature.

About Leilanie Stewart

Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry. In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books. CONNECT WITH ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA: https://mailchi.mp/17e6ca162ff3/leilanie-stewart-author

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