(Under the pen name of Scott Michael Gale, this Stittsville author releases his debut novel – The Specialist: The Paranormal Adventures of Lydia Walker.)
Stittsville resident Scott Michael Gale (his pen name, under which he writes to maintain anonymity and privacy) recently published his debut novel. Having released in April, The Specialist: The Paranormal Adventures of Lydia Walker will act as the first in a series called the Peculiar Novels. The next novel in the series, currently in the deep editing stage, will be released in July 2021.
Taking place in a small town called Peculiar – a world Scott began creating in 1999 – the synopsis for the book states: “This story is told from the perspective of Lydia Walker, a Grade 9 teen living in the small idyllic town of Peculiar, where the paranormal seems to be a normal thing, at least it does for Lydia and her friends. Lydia’s father is the sheriff of this small town and is also a protector of its secrets; he is known as a ‘keeper’ and this allows Lydia a unique perspective on the goings-on behind the scenes that ‘regs’, regular humans, are not privy to. We get to jump in and experience Peculiar through Lydia’s eyes after she has been through much turmoil and various supernatural encounters, and now she is embarking on a new chapter in her life that she never saw coming. This is a series filled with fabled monsters, trolls, magic, fairies, heartbreak, loss, and mysteries. So, come and join Lydia and her BFF Ben on their latest adventure in The Specialist – The Paranormal Adventures of Lydia Walker.”
The town of Peculiar was originally inspired by a road trip to the author’s childhood home in Paris, Ontario. “I saw some kids riding bikes down the old main street and shortly thereafter a large dog that looked like a wolf ran behind them, my mind went straight to a werewolf that was chasing them. It struck me then, this was back in 1999, that it would be nice to live in this little town as a teen and to explore all of its nooks and crannies; especially if it was populated with supernatural creatures.” Further inspiration came when, on a walk through Stittsville Main Street, Scott observed “teens doing what I remembered doing as a kid, riding their bikes into the woods making their own trails. They were using their imaginations while they played with sticks, pretending to see things that others couldn’t.” Thus, the idea was born to create a story rooted in the supernatural. Next came many years of developing the world of Peculiar and the stories that come from this small otherworldly town.
Scott used his interest in folklore and fairy tales to create the history of Peculiar, from 1850 to present day. He has even created a map of the town, which measures 3’ by 4’ and hangs on the wall of his family’s TV room. Scott’s love for little shops around town and the outskirts of areas, such as Richmond and Munster, played a big part in developing Peculiar. This fueled his desire to create a small town where his characters could thrive.
On his decision to write from the perspective of teenagers, Scott recalls his own teen years. These were years where he felt on the edge of adulthood – which looked scary – while no longer being seen as a kid. “What other time too could you find your first love, your first heartbreak, your own self, try to prove your worth, and more? It seemed like the right way to tell the experiences of a new world, through the eyes of someone that was going through so much on a regular level that tossing them into the world of the supernatural just seemed like a great fit.”
Over the years of creating Peculiar, Scott and his wife had two children. He and his wife both support the LGBTQ community, with Scott having written gay and trans characters into his first and second novels, and which he plans to continue doing for future novels. “Love of one another, as we are, is so important that we must keep our minds clear to love as we are too loved.” Scott’s philosophy is an important reminder to all, and which he emulates in his love of his own transgender children and his commitment to inclusion in his writing.
For eight years, Scott was able to volunteer in the library with Mrs. Lam at Stittsville Public School, where the kids and teachers knew him as Mr. Scott. As he worked to help kids read and to read stories to them, Scott was happy to observe the children’s fascination with books. “This helped the old writing bug to come back.”
Stittsville Central received an email from Derek Young, who, after reading the novel, was happy to share his thoughts: “I have had an opportunity to read this new book from Scott Michael Gale titled The Specialist: The Paranormal Adventures of Lydia Walker. It looks like it is going to be a series of novels and it explores some very interesting characters in a very unusual town. I hope you get a chance to check it out.”
Scott’s debut novel, The Specialist: The Paranormal Adventures of Lydia Walker, is available for purchase on Amazon and on Kindle. More information on Scott, his characters, and the town of Peculiar can be found on the author’s website.