Thursday, 5 May 2011

About Andy Evans and Vesna Kovac

Andy Evans was born in the gritty coal mining communities of Yorkshire, England.
After leaving school at the age of sixteen he followed the generations of school leavers before him to work in the local coal mines.
Following the demise of the UK’s mining industry in the mid 1990’s he now works within the Criminal Justice System.

Vesna Kovac was born and raised in the Bosnian Town of Novi Travnik.
After leaving school she graduated as an engineer after studying for five years at the military academy in Zagreb.
She now lives in the USA with husband Tonci and sons Nino and Tony.

Both writers came together following a twenty year search to uncover family history from the former Yugoslavia and published their first book In Search Of The Displaced Persons in July 2009.

Synopsis – When Spirits Break Free by Andy Evans & Vesna Kovac

Billy’s birth is sudden and premature. Unbeknown to his mother Molly, the cancer riddled, morphine-fuelled Doctor Foster dies en route to the birth. Through a haze of pain and fatigue she is convinced the doctor is present as her baby inhales his very first breath. Family members present at the birth dismiss this as being the product of her overworked and stressed imagination.

During his childhood years Billy often seems in another world, distancing himself from the other children. One terrifying night Molly sees a spirit of an old lady in her son’s bedroom. Taking matters into her own hands she employs a cassette recorder and attempts to record proof of the mysterious apparitions frequenting the shadows of the family home.

The audio recordings reveal the truth - Molly picks out the distinctive voice of an elderly lady.

Roger, Billy’s father, a staunch traditionalist, refutes the voice captured by the recorder, dismissing it immediately. Billy’s troubles finally come to a conclusion and Roger is forced to accept the nature of his wife’s concerns when Billy suffers a seizure. The medical profession suspects a culmination of deep fear and shock. What they fail to diagnose is Billy’s out of body episode - his spirit finally breaking free from the chains shackling him to his earthly misery.

Shaken by the incident Roger instigates a fresh start, blaming his urge to provide for his family and their home’s unworldly atmosphere for his son's illness. The house is sold and a new beginning dawns.
Shadows withdraw and Billy finally forges relationships with locals his own age.

Around his peers Billy is introduced to cannabis and hallucinogenic mushrooms. With his mind stimulated by the use of the recreational drugs, Billy’s dreams become entwined with reality. Drug induced psychosis is the professional prognosis; the spirits from his childhood have again returned without restraint into the land of the living.

Billy finally follows the family tradition, beginning work at the local coal mine. Tragedy unfolds as Mother Nature finally retaliates against what has been taken from her for centuries.

Without warning, gallons upon gallons of water are unleashed when the coal cutting machine breaches an underground lake. One by one the miners fight for survival is lost and death welcomes them with open arms.

As water engulfs Billy in its icy grasp, all seems lost. Sunlight and sheer beauty replace blackness as Billy looks into the eyes of the man standing before him. The same doctor that brought him into the world of the living now carries him into the realms of the dead.

Recent Reader's Feedback

"I think John Thomas may have been an unfortunate choice of name, but apart from that the story reads exceptionally well. It is interesting and well paced.The descriptive prose is good as is the narrative prose, which pulls you into the story.The dialogue is also excellent.I like this."

"This first chapter is like a short story in itself. It's well written, I like the intrigue and sadness of Dr. Foster's carefully kept secret. The ending of the chapter came as a complete surprise!"

" I am utterly hooked! This has taken me back to my seventies childhood with its descriptive quality, and back to two years ago when my father died, from a bad chest caused by years of coal dust (and the cigarettes habitually smoked when a shift was over). The dream sequences are gripping and the fear of the unknown can be tasted. My father said he saw things whilst working alone underground (he was a pump deputy- the mines here stretch under the North Sea) that could never be explained away by rationality, and he firmly believed that we do not die when our bodies in this life give up. Keep writing , you have a rare talent, this is by far the best thing I have read on this site."