Local author publishes debut novel

A new local author has recently published her debut book, which has effectively been roughly 30 years in the making.

Moira Wiley, published under the name “Moira Darrel,” self-published her book, “Selena and Her Mysteries,” following roughly 16 months of work during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am feeling excited, I actually don’t believe I did it … I think I started this book 30 years ago, wrote about two or three thousand words, and then life got in the way,” explained Wiley. “I pretty much changed everything that was in the original book, the 2,000 words I had written because that was when I was 37, not 67 as I was writing it.”

Wiley said she returned to the project during lockdown, as she was looking for something to occupy her time.

Recovering the original draft, she added became something of a process, as it was originally printed on a dot matrix and saved to a floppy disk.

“While I was retyping it, I realized I don’t feel the way I felt when I was 37 writing the book, I felt that I had so much more to add to it,” she said.

Selena and Her Mysteries is written as a coming-of-age mystery novel, according to Wiley. Amidst the story are also a series of poems penned by Wiley and her daughter which are meant to add to the narrative.

“A huge amount of the book revolves around emotions, family, drama, mystery, (and) I have an oddball sense of humour that plays in there,” said Wiley.

Describing herself as a natural creative, Wiley creates pottery and poetry as artistic outlets and wished to come back to her narrative that she started three decades ago.

She explained, particularly during the lockdowns, she would lie awake at night contemplating the book, experiencing a need to be writing and telling the story.

At the time of writing, Wiley said she had thought the book to be a one-off endeavor for her, but has since started into writing more in the background of her protagonist’s life.

The book is now available as an e-pub on Kindle, Kobo, and Apple, or for those who prefer a physical copy, they can order it through Amazon.

A handful of copies have also been made available for purchase at The Vault Cultural Collective, as well as at Home Hardware in town.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times