An author from Easington has used her latest novel to raise awareness of a condition from which she suffers.
Rachael Hewitson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016.
Before her own diagnosis she didn’t really know what MS was and, keen to raise awareness of the condition through her work, while putting a unique spin on the whole ghost story theme, Rachael set to writing her latest supernatural horror novel, Cribbins, which has just been released.
MS, an incurable, autoimmune disease, is when the immune system mistakes the protective covering of the nerves as a foreign body and strips it away. This causes lesions and scarring on the brain and spinal cord, which can result in a whole range of mobility and sensory related symptoms.
Cribbins, which has been given the thumbs up by Rachael’s neurologist, Dr Petheram, is about a single mother, Sophie Harrington, who’s being haunted by her old neighbour Ronnie Cribbins.
Sophie has recently been diagnosed with MS and when she thinks back to when Cribbins began his terror campaign against her, she believes her first symptoms can be linked to then.
Rachael, who writes under the name R. H. Dixon, loves turning elements of real life, good and bad, into pieces of fiction. She enjoys nothing more than injecting a bit of supernatural horror into the local area, and her fans worldwide adore reading about the people and villages of the northeast of England.
Rachael, from Easington Village, said: “My books are very character driven. We all have personal battles going on, and it’s good to address some of the problems that we deal with on a day to day basis through the medium of fiction. It can be a cathartic process for both the writer and reader. To invoke a great sense of empathy is one of the key factors of horror fiction, I think.”
Rachael’s other novels, Emergence and A Storytelling of Ravens, are based in the northeast too, and, shortly after their release, both books went on to climb the Amazon charts in the UK and US to number one in British Horror.