OUT OF THE DARKNESS
DRAFT COVER OF PAUL’S SOON TO BE COMPLETED BOOK
WATCH THIS SPACE IN 2023
I have been fortunate to work with a number of incredible authors during my time as a mentor but there are two new books by first-time authors, who I am currently working with whose stories I believe are must-reads.
FINDING HIS WAY
The first of these is Paul Litherland’s book, tentatively titled, OUT OF THE DARKNESS. I’ve known Paul for quite a few years through working together at South Fremantle Football Club where Paul was a highly regarded member of our senior coaching panel under senior coach, Todd Curley.
When Paul discovered that I was an author and a mentor for first-time writers, we talked about the possibility of him writing a book at some point in the future. I knew that Paul had served in the WA police force for some years and assumed that his story would be based on ‘war stories’ from his policing days interspersed with some amusing anecdotes about his time as a footy coach.
Fast forward a couple of years and Paul makes contact and tells me he is ready to proceed with his book. We sit down for our first meeting, and he begins telling me his story, a totally different and harrowing tale of a family terrorised by an abusive, alcoholic policeman father.
Growing up in Perth in the 1970s was not a very pleasant experience for Paul or his brothers and a sister. His mother, Trish, suffered horrific abuse from a husband, who was beset with his own demons.
As was the case in that era, domestic violence issues were swept under the carpet and not spoken about in ‘polite company’. So, Paul and his family endured many years of abuse at their father’s hands. By the time he was 8, with most of Paul’s siblings having moved out, his mother finally decided to escape their violent environment and Paul was raised by his caring mother.
Individuals respond to, and cope with trauma, in different ways. Some turn to alcohol or drugs in an effort to blot out the abuse while others adopt similar patterns in later life, having been ‘conditioned’ to believe an abusive environment was the norm.
Fortunately for Paul, he inherited his mother’s caring streak and, in a show of defiance, joined the Police force – not to follow in his father’s footsteps but to prove that there are people who enter the force, not just to rort the system (as his father and many of his colleagues did, back in the day) but to do good and protect others.
A major motorcycle accident in 2004 led to Paul rethinking his career and eventually steered him in the direction of online cyber security, where he has been able to forge a successful career as a respected online cyber safety consultant, through his company, SURF ONLINE SAFE.
For Paul, commitment to his community is part of his DNA. His involvement and love of sport, football, in particular, as a coach, administrator, advocate, and mentor as well as his tireless work in cyber safety, led him to being recognised as the 2022 Western Australian of The Year. Paul was also a candidate for The Australian of The Year Award in 2022.
Paul Litherland has a story to tell. It’s an inspiring tale about finding a way forward in the face of extreme hardship, and overwhelming challenges, that will resonate with families and individuals who have endured the distress and scarring caused by domestic violence as well as those who appreciate and admire those who find strength through adversity.
Watch for the launch of OUT OF THE DARKNESS mid 2023. This is a story that it has been an utter privilege and pleasure to be able to help get on paper and into print.
If Mick Reynolds’ son, Lockie, had not collapsed and died on a rural football field, without warning in 2019, Mick could have remained blissfully unaware that he was not Lockie’s biological father.
Fate can be delivered in cruel and unusual circumstance and Mick’s discovery, after that tragic event, that he wasn’t Lockie’s father, came as an earth-shattering shock to this quiet, reserved man.
Mick Reynolds is a country boy through and through. Born In Pingelly in WA’s wheatbelt in the late 1970s, Mick and his brother were raised by his father and stepmother, after his mother left them for another man when Mick was very young.
Although he didn’t know it, Mick’s abandonment by his mother, and the painful revelation that the boy who he had loved and adored as his son, was not his, would change his life irreparably and lead him close to a deep abyss of doubt and despair about his entire being.
Mick’s story of paternity fraud is not new, it is a deception that has, for centuries, been carefully planned and orchestrated by calculating women whose only agenda is to find a suitable provider for their unborn child.
Mick’s story is a complicated and frightening tale of manipulation by an unscrupulous partner whose deliberately controlling nature was quick to take advantage of a vulnerable, naive young man, desperate to do the ‘right thing’ , when told that she was pregnant with his child.
I’ve been working closely with Mick, his totally supportive partner, Sharna, and parents, Mick Snr and Joyce since late 2022, to help him tell his heart-wrenching story. While at the same time, trying to shine a spotlight on the need to raise awareness, and garner support, for mandatory DNA-testing for new-born babies to ensure that victims like Mick are not shackled with responsibilities with which they should never have been burdened.
It’s going to be a book that is sure to make waves and cause controversy when it is published later this year. Mick Reynolds was BETRAYED by those who should have loved him, twice in his life, and now it is his turn to have his story heard.