Stephen has tasted the earth from the depths of his soul,
grown anew and stretched his branches towards the sun,
with roots firm and strong in their darkness…
Stephen Mullaney-Westwood was born in Hertfordshire England and has always felt a little ‘different’ to others.
His sensitive and artistic nature outcast him somewhat, and he had a hard time mentally throughout those teenage and young adult years, trying to find his ‘place in the world’.
Ultimately, it was a journey and writing always accompanied him along the way… that and the many other artistic projects he turned his hand to.
Through his life he has written numerous short stories and even completed several novels, most of which he has not felt were quite ready for release.
He was first published under the name S.Westwood in 2007 through the mental health publisher ‘Chipmunka’- with an autobiography ‘Suicide Junkie’ which was later re-released under the title ‘Body dysmorphic disorder- memoir’ – with revisions- in 2012.
Stephen worked with others who either had a psychology background or suffered mental health issues themselves. He has spoken about his illness on daytime TV shows, on radio and in magazines and spent a few years public speaking to help professionals become more aware of how their clients might feel. He has had pieces published in mental health journals, and even endorsed a self help book on the subject of BDD.
The monster that is BDD crawls in the shadows, lurking, but always present… his attacks are frequent, though not as relentless as they were in times past… I think he is getting older, weaker, but I know he will never give in.
For years he kept close company with depression… a monster even more sinister than this, whispering words in your ears at night… wanting to do you harm. But his companion has been cast out and BDD is left alone… and lonely. He begs to be noticed, and I turn my back… but I know he is there.
The beast that is fibromyalgia came in the night, crept into my muscles and bones, reminding me that I am alive, and hoping that I would wish I was not. I think depression sent him.. I think it was revenge. But I do not fight him… I know he wants that. He wants me to fight to get back what once I was. But what I was is not something I covet. Fighting would be handing depression a key back into my world… But my world has altered.
I will live in this world.
Stephen also wrote several published reviews in ‘Retro Gamer’ magazine, remembering the innocent past of the 1980s, but now concentrates on writing fiction under his married name
He is more positive, older, and wiser now that he has passed the grand age of 40; intent upon writing with a potent message which has come through a deep love of the natural world.
His debut novel was ‘Forgotten Things’
Although the novel undertook several rewrites, ‘Forgotten Things‘ was finally written in a secluded 150 year old cottage on the Scottish borders, surrounded by woodland and Neolithic burial mounds.
With the final editing taking place in his Cotswold cabin on the hill, with the woods, again, as his inspirational backdrop.
While waiting on publishers to decide if they could share his vision, Stephen self published a collection of thirteen short stories:
With self publishing made easy the book market is both diverse and saturated. Traditional publishers are struggling to stay afloat and are having to air on the side of caution, releasing more ‘safe bets’.
Stephen’s novel is drenched in pagan, ecological philosophy and this is a predominantly secular, prosaic world…
Yet there does seem to be somewhat of a spiritual dawning , where people are again interested in mind body and spirit. The environment is on more of our minds, and pagan ideals are no longer vilified. There is a healthy trend in supernatural acceptance where it is not abnormal to question organised religions and despite technological progress, remember what is truly important.
And so Stephen decided to release ‘FORGOTTEN THINGS’ himself…
With full creative control the book you read will be his work, and his work alone. You will be reading from his spirit.
And now as an audiobook from Circle of Spears.
To write, and to breathe the words of nature is the place where Stephen now belongs, doing something he truly loves.