The writing effect

Andrew Fraser’s writing website sports a photo of the man himself, clad in a yellow cycling shirt and lycra shorts, his face barely visible beneath a thick mask of black mud.

It hints at a man who not only enjoys outdoor adventures, but refuses to take himself too seriously.

In an accompanying blurb, Andrew explains he grew up on a farm in Manawatu, which “in no way equipped him to string a sentence together, let alone a 90,000-word novel”.

The Cambridge man’s enjoyment of writing, coupled with “a fascination with the irrationality of people”, inspired his first foray into creative writing five years ago.

A DairyNZ brand and channel manager who has spent most of his career “driving a desk”, he has always enjoyed putting words together and crafting sentences.  So in 2016 he started a blog to share with family and friends.

“I don’t have any particular axes to grind or movements to start or anything, I just like writing,” he said.

After that he started wondering if he could write a book.

“I run and ride bikes, which is great for creative thinking time, and I thought well, if I have a good idea, I should give it a crack,” he said.

His first novel, The Lighting Effect, tells the story of Abe, an alien from the planet Granity, and Trent, a “very average” agrichemicals salesman from Springfield, Missouri, who become entangled in a Russian conspiracy.

“The core premise is you’ve got someone from another planet looking at what we do as humans on earth through a completely rational, apolitical set of eyes and calling out all the dumb stuff we do,” Andrew said.

Part sci-fi, part action and part humour, he expects the self-published novel to appeal to young adult and adult readers.

He will launch The Lighting Effect at Paper Plus Cambridge at 5.30pm on May 28. The novel is also available on Amazon.

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