Butterfly myth from Peru leads to strange happenings in Luton, in author’s first novel

Author Mark James Barrett.
Author Mark James Barrett.
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A former Luton man has published his first book which features locations around the town.

Mark James Barrett, who attended Icknield Primary and Secondard Schools, has published The Dreams of the Black Butterfly, a series of stories in each chapter linked to an overall tale.

It features a myth about a large black butterfly in Peru which only appears once every 100 years and is said that the secrets of the world are hidden in its wings.

The hunt is on as a millionaire philanthropist and businessman assembles an army of Peruvian orphans to help him find the butterfly.

Mark’s job involves preparing artwork for print in the retail industry and he said: “I write because I have to get stuff out of my head, it is a therapy of sorts. I prefer the worlds in my head to the one I live in most of the time, and even when I am not writing, I am dreaming about ideas and how I can make them work on paper.”

Locations featured include Derwent Avenue, where a couple find a strange stick in their garden which may reveal the truth of Earth’s hidden history.

Another story is set in The Moat House pub on Riddy Lane where a drink has been developed that links our world to those who have departed.

A man whose childhood sweetheart disappeared in Wardown Park when he was young returns to the town after 15 years on her birthday. He is obsessed with her and still believes that a waxwork in the Wardown Museum is somehow responsible for the girl’s disappearance.

Mark, 47, added: “This book is about the ecological damage being wrought on the planet by mankind, something I feel very strongly about. I wrote the basis of it for my MA in creative writing, which I passed in 2011 at Sheffield Hallam University. It has since been shortlisted for The Impress Prize for New Writers.”

After attending Luton Sixth Form College, Mark went on to the Industrial College in the town and gained a City and Guilds in signwriting. Among other jobs he has been a self-employed signwriter, a buyer for Ryanair at Luton, a CNC machine operator at TRW Automotive when they were based in Houghton Regis. He now lives in Wakefield.

Visit http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=3649 and Amazon.