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Preston author’s new book draws on experience of US campus shooting

Posted on - 23rd July, 2020 - 2:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston News, UCLan
A.J. Hartley in front of Cold Bath Street sign
A.J. Hartley is the author behind Cold Bath Street and Written Stone Lane, both set in Preston

Preston-born author A.J. Hartley has released a new book, written in response to a shooting at the US university where he teaches.

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Impervious was launched by UCLan Publishing earlier this month. 

NYT bestselling author Hartley created the book as a way to write through the trauma of the shooting at the University of North Carolina (UNC) last year.

Read More: Preston author caught up in campus shooting says USA is ‘not safe to live in’

Described as pacy, inventive and imaginative, Impervious explores the idea of how the horror and heroism of this type of incident might be presented in the arts.

The book centres on unsuspecting hero, Trina Warren, who finds herself in a fantasy world, pursued by a faceless, nameless monster that only she can stop. She must navigate an unfamiliar world full of magic and danger to defeat the mysterious Soulless One and save her friends.

Read more: A.J. Hartley’s Cold Bath Street sequel to be released on Hallowe’en

Speaking about the shooting, Hartley said: “On Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, I was on the campus of the university where I teach – UNC Charlotte – for an end of year celebration honouring graduating seniors, when a gunman opened fire in a neighbouring building.

“I took cover with a group of students in a theatre dressing room and we locked ourselves in. We sat in silence for something over an hour, watching on muted phones – we couldn’t make any noise for fear of attracting the shooter – for local news reports which might help us make sense of what was happening outside.

A J Hartley speaking at the launch of Cold Bath Street
A J Hartley speaking at a Preston book launch

“By the time we got the all-clear from the police, two students had been killed and several others seriously wounded. The scars borne by the survivors are less easy to quantify.”

Impervious is on sale now.

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Will you be reading Impervious? Let us know in the comments.

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