Jude Craig is a level-headed teacher in a Yorkshire secondary school. Within a matter of days her professional and personal life is shattered by a series of strange events in her house. What starts with the sound of papers fluttering to the floor quickly escalates to her discovering that someone has been in the house whilst she is sleeping.
When Jude is driven out of her job and home she is forced to discover whether she is being haunted, stalked by a pupil, or the terrifying possibility that she is losing her mind.
He stood motionless outside the front gate. Half hidden in the shadows. This house only differed from thousands up and down the country because she lived here. The lights to her house were switched off. She would be sleeping soundly in her bed. Soon, a good night’s sleep would be a thing of the past.
Without making a sound, he crept round to the rear of the building, into the darkened back garden. Meticulously maintained, it was the perfect cover.
In Jude Craig’s dream-filled mind, it started with less than a whisper. A sound so imperceptible that at first, she didn’t even register it. Like an innocent baby blissfully sleeping, she was unaware that a murderous monster had entered the room. Her room. Her bedroom.
Somewhere in the distance, a rogue firework burst into the night sky, refusing to accept that Bonfire Night had passed for another year. Two local dogs tried to rouse the neighbourhood, informing them of the intruder in the night. Apart from the gentle rustling breeze, nobody stirred. Their warning was unheeded, and the world slept on.
It had begun.
Jess Whitby lives in Yorkshire, England. She studied Communication Studies at University and then went on to train and work as a Youth Worker. She now works as a Therapist in Yorkshire. When she isn't working she is busy either writing her next novel or eating her favourite food : chips and gravy!
I was away on holiday when I first started trying to think of an idea for a book. I tried to think of something people could relate to. Something that would be frightening but every day. I tried to think what would truly terrify me? What would turn my life upside down? The inspiration came from my life.
When I was a teenager, I was woken in the night by the sound of a piece of paper fluttering to the floor. It wasn’t especially scary. I presumed some paper had fallen off my desk. But when it started to happen night after night and when there was no paper on my desk or the floor… well, let’s just say I started to sleep with the light on. When it started to happen in the daytime, then things moved onto a very different level.
That led me on to another terrifying scenario. What could be more frightening than the fear that you are losing your mind? That you no longer know the difference between what is real and what isn’t? For me, that possibility would shake my entire world.
I changed the main character from a teenager to a down-to-earth and independent secondary school teacher. Then I added the very real possibility that someone was playing tricks on her. Maybe a pupil from her school with a grudge to bear. The main character was like many people. She was simply trying to get on with her life. Then a series of events, starting with the sound of paper falling to the floor, turns everything upside down. That’s the starting point of Running From Dust and things quickly escalate from there.
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