Inspirational, life-changing moment
The Fourth Age Of Penderan, The Key of Men
By AJ Winstanley
A DYSLEXIC west Cornwall man who has recently returned home has published his first novel – set on St Michael's Mount, writes Johanna Carr.
Adam Faulkner, who writes under the pen name AJ Winstanley, was born in Hayle but moved away to the Midlands at a young age.
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He moved back in 2008, to Stithians, with his partner Senara and it was around this time that he found the inspiration to become an author.
The 44-year-old, who used to work in health and safety, said: "One day several years ago while passing St Michael's Mount I noticed it was snowing. This was a life-changing moment for me. I had always been interested in myth and legend but suddenly I thought to myself, 'the mount truly looked magical on this particular day'. From that moment my innate creativity went into overdrive and I imagined myself as a boy looking out towards the mount, dreaming of adventure. Thus the story was born."
Mr Faulkner's book, The Fourth Age Of Penderan, The Key Of Men, is based on troubled teenager Jake Penworthey who seeks solace by staring out towards the mystical island of St Michael's Mount. Little does he know that he and his friends will soon be propelled into a fantastical kingdom hidden for over a thousand years. Mr Faulkner said: "As a boy growing up in the Midlands in the 1970s I was subject to the ignorance and apathy of some teachers who had little or no knowledge of what we now call dyslexia. To be honest I was ignored, alienated and made to feel worthless by some teaching staff. Conversely, two teachers rescued me from this pit of despair."
One was his art teacher, who nurtured his artistic ability, and the other was an English teacher, who despite not being able to read a story Adam had written, asked for it to be read to her and awarded him one of the highest grades in the class for the content. Adam's novel is now available on Amazon Kindle for £3.08 and will soon be in print.
He said: "When I started to write my book I promised myself several things.
"Firstly, that I would complete it no matter how long it took; secondly, it would be influenced by the beauty and mysticism of Cornwall but would be my own creation; thirdly, that I would inspire children to believe in their innate ability and to hold on to the precious gift of imagination."