Stanmore Bay writer Kelly Lyndon is a night owl and says that almost every time she’s filling up at a local petrol station, late at night, she sees people in the grip of methamphetamine.
She knows the signs after watching both a family friend and an ex-boyfriend become hooked on the drug and has become even more sensitive to it after recently completing a novel about meth addiction, called Crystal Reign.
“The problem is huge on the Coast,” Kelly says. “Nearly everyone I speak to knows someone who is dealing with it.”
Kelly’s background is in filmmaking and romance novel writing. She says having seen lives destroyed by meth, she felt compelled to write a book that could help.
“This is the book I was looking for when I saw what was happening to my friend,” Kelly says. “It took five years before we realised what the problem was, as we misread the signs, thinking at the age of 42 he could be going through a midlife crisis.”
Those warning signs included mood swings, becoming verbally abusive, going out for long periods, being evasive with family and friends and staying in bed for days.
“It was very tough and isolating on the family – all I could do was watch helplessly as as the addict fell into the deepest pits of hell, taking loved ones with them.”
Kelly says that a large number of people first try meth at a party, and that it is not necessarily a young person’s drug.
As well as using her firsthand experience, Kelly’s research for the novel included speaking to people who are trying to help an addict, ex-addicts, rehabilitation facilitators and Police.
The novel is about a former Navy commander whose wife becomes addicted to meth after trying it at a party.
“Although it’s a work of fiction, I hope that it helps people dealing with this problem to not feel so alone,” Kelly says.
Writing about this subject was not easy and Kelly says her next project is a children’s book about a naughty black cat. “I needed to write something light after Crystal Reign.”
Kelly self-published the book, which is being distributed by David Bateman and available in bookshops now.
Hibiscus Matters has two signed copies of Crystal Reign (Remnant Press) to give away. Note: The book contains violence and offensive language. To go in the draw, write your name, address and daytime phone number on the back of an envelope and post to Crystal Reign, Hibiscus Matters, Unit G, Tamariki Plaza, 18 Tamariki Ave, Orewa 0931. Or message Hibiscus Matters on Facebook with your phone number. Entries close on Friday, March 16.