A thriller, inspired by the moment she nearly choked, is the new book from Worthing author Hazel Reed.
Damaged Fruit is published by Michael Terrance Publishing Ltd and available on Amazon.
Hazel explains: “For a very long time, I had wanted to write a novel. I had written a couple of children’s stories which I only read to my two children. I believe readers will find my book unique because they would not have read about anyone who was murdered with a peach stone!
“I had been trying to come up with a plot for my first book for a long time, but work and family took prior place in my life.
“I wanted to write a crime story. I had always been an admirer of Agatha Christie’s whodunit novels, so I had a task on my hands, but no plot!
“Then, it happened. I was in the garden with my golden retriever Honey, sniffing for long-buried bones. I had just finished eating a lovely juicy peach and had the stone in my hand.
“The stone still had the peach stones juices on it. I put the stone in my mouth to curl my tongue around it for the last enjoyable taste of the peach.
“The stone escaped my tongue and slid easily down my throat. It hurt, and I tried to shout, but nothing came from my mouth. “Honey was jumping up and down, recognising my distress. I accepted my fate and stopped moving. I was all alone except for my faithful and loving golden retriever.
“We both thought I was going die, but I’m still here to tell this story and a few more.
“The starting point for my book had to outline the story and purpose of the peach. It brings out the reason for revenge: a boy severely bullied because of the ridiculous name his snobby mother had given him.
“The inspiration came through sharing my writing and getting feedback from creative writing sessions at college, also The Thursday Evening Meatball Club. I am unable to share with you some of the comments because they were often rude!”
Hazel added: “I was attending courses of learning about creative writing at The Broadwater MET College in Worthing and still do. That was when I first came to believe I had the experience and knowledge to write crime and detection novels that readers would enjoy.
“Fiction writing is mostly about realistic portrayal of characters and human motivations and behaviour, both good and bad and the storyline and the situations in the stories told must be plausible.
“I wrote this book under my married status name of Hazel Reed. I was born a Hudson.
“My brother and sisters all live and work in Worthing and many of their family descendants too. I have a son and daughter and four grandchildren.
“I have always been a prolific reader with a preference for good crime and detective novels.
“In addition to my career as a human resources professional, I had the privilege of becoming a JP and sat on the bench in the magistrate’s courts in Worthing and Chichester.”