Two Dalkeith authors have released a mental health-themed novel in a bid to increase awareness of the illness and are donating profits to a mental health charity.
Earlier this month Ross Bathgate and Mark Hallworth released Darkview: Psychosis, with proceeds for at least the first four months going to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
The book tells the story of Jack Cyrus, a man with nothing to lose. After his wife Chloe and unborn child are tragically taken from him, he is plagued with demonic visions of a tortured past and subsequently given the label of paranoid schizophrenic. On the sixth anniversary of his wife’s death, he receives a cryptic, handwritten letter claiming to be from her, saying she’s still alive. She begs Jack to return to where they spent her last days – Darkview, a small coastal town in the Scottish Highlands where they both grew up.
Speaking to the Advertiser Ross said: “It’s a book about severe mental health issues. It is primarily a love story, a very twisted love story I suppose.
“I wrote the book when I was travelling. I wrote it as a screenplay with one of my friends in Canada.
“I have got personal experience of depression. I just feel that it is still a very taboo subject and people don’t understand what the person suffering from it is going through.
“I let Mark read the screenplay and he thought it was really good. Unfortunately we lost the only copy so we thought the best thing to do was to re-write it from scratch and Mark brought in certain things from history that had happened in the Highlands.”
In the novel Jack makes two simultaneous journeys to Darkview – one in reality and one in his mind. In reality, Jack meets various characters who either help or hinder him. In his mind, he also meets representatives of his troubled soul. Only when Jack can piece together all the clues and reconcile his troubled soul can he reveal the true circumstances behind the death of Chloe.
“We want to raise awareness of mental health issues so the best way to raise money for the charity would be to use the book”, added Ross.
“Every single penny we make from the book will go to the Scottish Association of Mental Health. Just until April for now but it could be longer.
“Obviously we want to get our book out there but it’s important to raise awareness of and money for mental health.
“Hopefully we can profit from the second book.
“At the moment I just really want to raise awareness of the various mental health conditions and the charity itself.”
Darkview: Psychosis is available in paperback (£7.99) &eBook (£1.99) from: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookbaby, iBooks, Kobo, Book Depository, Ciando, and Scribd.