LorrainePestell

 

 

lorraineLorraine Pestell was born in London and has enjoyed a successful career as an Information Technology professional in the UK, the US, Europe, Singapore and more recently Australia.  She currently resides in Melbourne, Victoria, where she is currently “between dogs”.  As this is a wholly undesirable state to be in, an impending house-move will see a new canine companion or two rescued soon afterwards!

As a long-standing sufferer of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, diagnosed after life dealt a few unfortunate twists and turns and left her with chronic depression, nightmares, anxiety and negligible self-belief, Lorraine discovered that volunteering time and energy to those less fortunate is an effective antidote to life-long depression and the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Focussing on helping other people to improve their lives goes some way to offsetting the daily reach for the off-switch rather than the alarm clock.

Although working full-time (while writing for the other full-time), Lorraine is a passionate volunteer for several organisations, including serving on the Boards of non-profits in the Youth Arts sector.  She has been a mentor for The Smith Family’s iTrack program for five years and has provided project management assistance to The School Volunteer Program.  Sales proceeds from the “A Life Singular” serial go to these two charities, which accomplish so much with so few resources, overwhelming commitment and heaps (as we say in Australia) of goodwill.

The idea for “A Life Singular” originated when Lorraine was 14 years old, and the story has continued to develop in fits and starts since then, whenever time and life events permit.  However, three years ago, a new element of the plot triggered a sudden urge to complete the novel, and since then the story has evolved into six separate parts.

Having found most books on mental illness are directed to sufferers or their families, Lorraine decided to use the universal themes of love and our fascination for celebrity to create a story that would “preach to the unconverted.  She has two goals for her books:  first, to inspire fellow sufferers to rise above their symptoms and make a success of their lives; and second, to help destigmatise mental illness and encourage non-sufferers to include, support and maybe even love us in our quest to live a “normal” life.

 

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A novel in six parts, serialised as e-books and paperbacks, “A Life Singular” tells the story of a successful celebrity writing his autobiography after the tragic loss of his wife.  In essence a love story, its central themes are triumph over mental illness, the choices we make between right and wrong, the relentless passage of time and how each affects the other.  Some of life’s lessons are harder to learn, and some amazing opportunities easier to take.  The trick is always to understand the consequences of our choices, before it’s too late…

Part-One-front-coverA Life Singular – Book One – 2013

What do you do when you lose the one who gave your life meaning?  You write about it.  You tell the world how amazing it is to love and be loved by someone so special, what love helps you achieve and how it makes you stronger.

Jeff Diamond had built a life of influence, adulation and wealth by making the right choices for the right reasons.  He lived by the law of reciprocity, a lesson learned on the streets as a teenager with nothing but an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.  Plagued by the scars of a violent childhood, he created his vision and fought for it.  And once he no longer needed to fight for himself, he fought for others.

Yet when Jeff’s dream girl was taken from him and their children by the ignorant act of a jealous misfit from his own home town, the millionnaire realised just how far he had come.  Why had he succeeded when so many like him fail?  It wasn’t complicated.  The secret lay in the endless pursuit of love and wisdom; life’s two magic ingredients.  Now Lynn was gone, he resolved to use his remaining days to account for their life in a way that would inspire young people to make his type of choice rather than García’s.

Then after their story was written, he would be free to go after her, to begin the whole incredible journey over again.  Everyone has a life singular.  One.  Unique.  Extraordinary.

Part-Two-front-coverA Life Singular – Book Two – 2013

Writing an autobiography on behalf of someone else presented Jeff with an interesting dilemma.  Did he make assumptions about what Lynn would have included, or should he restrict her contribution to direct quotes from her letters and diaries?  He had their kids to protect, and her parents…

As he worked through the huge amount of material available in the press about their life as it had taken shape, interlacing it with highly personal stories, the widower crafted chapter after chapter of memories, both happy and heartbreaking.  If this was to be a true account of their partnership, he owed it to the memory of his beautiful best friend to cover so much more than what was already on public record.

When it came to adding his own reminiscences of those early months, about meeting someone he already knew intimately, Jeff had no difficulty in recalling every single, vivid moment.  Entire conversations came back to him, sometimes word for word, rushing through his fingers and into the computer.

Photographs prompted him too, as did the treasured possessions that surrounded him, like the old leather jacket he had received on his twentieth birthday.  Lynn had left him shortly after that, just like she had left him now.  The pull of being together again was unrelenting, but Jeff hung on to the dream that their life singular would one day resume.  Once their story had been told.

Part-Three-front-coverA Life Singular – Book Three – 2014

Fame and fortune beckoned.  Jeff Diamond was a success, whatever that meant…  Fans followed him everywhere, reporters and photographers hid around every corner and journalists recorded his many indiscretions.  A whole different world to the downtrodden streets of Sydney’s south-west, where vices were satisfied by using people to one’s best advantage.

The star had more money than he could spend, his opinion suddenly counted, and the opportunities to feed his ever-hungry mind were plentiful.  Yet the demons continued to torment him, no longer protected by the guardian angel who had been spirited away as soon as her family found out who Jeff Diamond was and where he had come from.

Suddenly the ambitious businessman and philanthropist found himself in the fight of his life.  He would win Lynn’s heart by showing her father he was worthy, and by convincing his dream girl that they had something worth fighting for.  Would she risk throwing her privileged lifestyle away for a man whose public persona depended on alcohol, drugs and a string of pretty girls?

Jeff had nothing to lose.  The trappings of his new life held little significance until the soul-mates were reunited.  This was where their life singular really began.  Up until this point, there had only been playtime.  Now they must step up and take responsibility.  It was up to them.

Part-Four-front-coverA Life Singular – Book Four – 2014

So this was it…  Lynn and Jeff, two celebrities driven to change the world together, had grasped their life singular with both hands and were not about to let go.  They had the Midas touch, gifted through the virtues of reciprocity and a deepening understanding of right versus wrong.

The prospect of turning two into four, mirroring the black jetstone ring that lived on the handsome man’s right hand, filled the couple with excitement.  Never in his wildest dreams had the no-good street kid imagined himself as a father.  His own had given him nothing.  So much less than nothing, in fact.

Should Jeff settle that score?  Was it worth disturbing the paradise they had planned, where their well-established careers showed no sign of slowing down and their hard work yielded so much for so many?  Surfacing past wrongs and holding people to account for setting them right were part and parcel of letting go, his dream girl had insisted.  And who was he to argue?  She had been right all along.

As the book’s extraordinary chapters continued to document the achievements of their life singular, the solitary author cried and smiled in equal measure through the arrival of a small boy with blond, curly hair and the sultry gipsy girl who could see inside his soul from the moment she was born.  Lynn had given him two new friends who must now be steered through their young lives, learning their own lessons about the endless pursuit of love and wisdom.

Part-Five-front-cover-draftA Life Singular – Book Five – 2015

The world was a big place, full of good and evil, beautiful and ugly, wonder and despair.  Sometimes it seemed all was lost, returning from the latest round of negotiations and attempting to balance the surreal career of a chart-topping musician with the demands of an advocate for those discarded by mainstream society.  With every problem the Diamonds worked to solve, a new one would be right around the corner.

All was not lost, however.  Unity and liberty, the twin spirits living in two perfect beings waiting for him at home, were all Jeff needed to spur him on.  They would one day inherit the world that he and his beautiful best friend were intent on changing for the better, along with the millions of others who wrote to them every day, seeking ever more of their energy, time and money.

The tired author kept coming back to reciprocity.  We should never take more than we give.  If only they could convince enough people of their byword…  It was right that the struggle never ended.  What would he do if it did?  There was no room for self-satisfied fat cats in their life singular.  What sort of example would that set for those who must follow?

Lynn had departed, the children were growing stronger now, and the widower heard the clock ticking night after night after night.  Still with so many amazing experiences to recount, the lost boy knew his dream girl couldn’t wait forever.  He was grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight, but gratitude could only take him so far.

Part-Six-front-cover-draftA Life Singular – Book Six – 2015

So, their handbook for life was complete.  Not a cast-iron guarantee, but a good start for anyone looking for answers.  The rest was up to its readers to make their own life singular.  Jeff Diamond sealed the envelope on his manuscript, content that he had fully accounted for the life that had brought him to where he was today.  Alone.

Lynn would be pleased with the way their autobiography had turned out, complete with a carefully selected set of photographs and proof-read from cover to cover by their gorgeous daughter.

It was now time to finish things off properly, and that began by acknowledging the mate who had stood by Jeff for almost thirty years.  Gerry Blake had been his squash partner, his manager, his drinking buddy and his best man through the whole incredible journey, in so many ways his alter-ego.  He was now getting married for the first time at forty-seven years old, no doubt spooked by what had happened to his old friend.

The thankful millionnaire and the ghost living inside his heart were determined to give Gerry and his new wife the very best send-off, before continuing on their own quest for reunion.  Would they find a way to be together again?  And how would the kids know to keep telling their singular story?

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Lorraine’s Causes:

The author supports two not-for-profit organisations which provide invaluable assistance to Australian children in need.

Half of all proceeds from “A Life Singular” generated in Australia will be shared between these two organisations.  If the books are eventually sold outside Australia, equivalent charities in those countries will be supported similarly.

svp“As Western Australia’s leading school mentoring organisation, The School Volunteer Program inspires and guides students, provides significant support to schools and teachers and contributes to the creation of stronger communities.”

www.svp.org.au

 

“The Smith Family, the national children’s charity helping young Australians in need to get the most out of their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.”

www.thesmithfamily.com.au

 

 

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The charities receive more money if you can purchase directly from the author’s website:  http://www.ALifeSingular.net, however here are the Amazon links for Parts One and Two:

A Life Singular – Part One

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I2CQAX4

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I2CQAX4

Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00I2CQAX4

Australia / New Zealand – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00I2CQAX4

A Life Singular – Part Two

US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HAVJEMC

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00HAVJEMC

Canada – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00HAVJEMC

Australia / New Zealand – https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00HAVJEMC

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Author Links:

Goodreads pagehttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7080596.Lorraine_Pestell

The Independent Author Networkhttp://www.independentauthornetwork.com/lorraine-pestell.html

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LorrainePestell

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ALifeSingular

Lorraine’s bloghttp://alifesingular.com/

 

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