A photographer, artist and retired teacher from Ramsgate has published a book of dark short stories.
Jeff Laurents, who lives in Ramsgate with partner Polly, penned the tales in Mysterious Ways some 12 years ago “in a fit of creativity,” but did not publish them until he saw a request for short stories from Bridge House Publishing.
Jeff, 80, has 13 horror/fantasy tales in the book and describes them as “macabre” and “quirky.”
Jeff is known primarily as a photographer and artist creating calendars, cards, prints and jigsaws from iconic Kent scenes which he then often transforms from photo to a more painterly-looking image.
Jeff studied economics at Manchester university and went on to teach in higher education in subjects including English, History, Film and Photography.
He studied cinema at the British Film Institute and completed a degree in photography, using his camera skills at the London College of Fashion. He has also been a singer and run a music studio.
Retiring at 57 meant Jeff could pursue the things he loved – photography and writing.
He said: “I had written the 13 stories and a novel. I submitted the novel to agents but not the short stories.
“Then I was busy building up the photography business. But I came across Bridge House Publishing and they were looking for short stories. I submitted one called Tongue Twister and it was published in a collection.
“They then contacted me and asked if I had enough stories for a complete book. I had 13 so I sent them. It took about 18 months but the book was published. I am now thinking of sending in my novel The Music of the Spheres but want to make some changes to bring it up to date.”
Jeff now hopes to write two further novels as sequels and his novella, The Backward Kid, is also being considered for publishing.
Jeff, who will soon be moving to Woodnesborough, says he is influenced by writers such as Roald Dahl, Clive Barker, Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft.
Find out more about Jeff and his photography at www.jefflaurentsphotography.co.uk