Lee Cern – Author of We Were Just Kids

In this show case I am pleased to introduce Lee Cern a 59 year old originally from Belfast who now lives in Australia. I’m pretty sure he must be fluent in Gaelic because he has added a sentence or two in some of the emails we’ve been exchanging – thank you to Google for the translations 🙂

Just recently I’ve been privileged to play a part in getting his first book published and when his fiction novel We Were Just Kids: Once Upon A Time in Belfast went live I was really excited for him and asked if he would be willing to be interviewed and be my next show case! So here we go…

When did you start writing your very first book and how long has it taken?

I have been writing since I was nine, a lot of it was Poetry and Prose based around the Celts or Arthurian knights. The troubles though arrived in the North of Ireland, and it’s those experiences gathered throughout that time that gave me the idea for “We Were Just Kids”. That was in the early 1990’s, and the idea evolved throughout the political poems I was writing then. I began writing ‘We Were Just Kids’ (WWJK) in 2010, and wrote so much there was plenty in reserve for the Trilogy ”Once Upon a Time in Belfast” but to answer your question WWJK was published in December 2017 as an eBook, with the interviewers help I should add, and as a Paperback in January 2018, and both are available on Amazon.

What inspired you to start?

To grow up in a battlefield because that’s what it was, and the political climate that was Belfast during the troubles helped form my mindset in many ways. Particularly when one witnesses things that no kid or teenager should ever have to, and when one comes close to death as I have several times, collectively it changes you.

I saw a long time ago through the blood that oozed from severed limbs, wounds that leaked, that death claimed in acts of war justified by lies, and it gave to my eyes shame.

I believe in God, in Heaven, in Angels and miracles, I’m proof they happen, and believe things happen for a reason. There’s been stories / articles written about that time, particularly concerning those areas in which I grew up. Some were by those who didn’t live or grow up there, others by people who had lived there, some for less time than a butterfly exists, yet pass themselves off as more knowledgeable than those who didn’t or couldn’t move away, and who experienced the longevity of it all. So, I decided someone needed to tell it how it was albeit through Fiction for now.

You sound very passionate about this

I’m an emotional person and passionate about Justice, and there was a great deal of injustice around me growing up. Injustice and discrimination are wrong, and they come in many forms. Bombs for instance don’t differentiate between them and us, be it in Ireland or on the mainland. It’s always the Innocent who suffer the most, and whose questions tend to be ignored. There are people to this day both English and Irish, still suffering from the loss of their loved ones, and without the answers to why.

You mean Bombs in Ireland and the Uk?

Yes, and in war we see the true nature of evil irrespective of who is involved in that conflict. If you take the Bombing campaign on the mainland during the 1970’s, you’ll notice Irish surnames of victims and the deceased, indeed there were many British Soldiers who died during the so-called troubles also that had Irish surnames. I would imagine those people were descended from Irish people who left Ireland many years before to find work in England and some of them maybe 5th generation Irish. Like I said, bombs do what they do, they explode, they kill and maim, and families are left with the aftermath of any murder. So, the victims, the hurts are and were more broad-based and varied from Religion to Nationality, and families left with questions.

What is one of the most surprising things you have learned about publishing your book?

The memories suppressed, locked away. Released by scrawling my way through numerous notepads, and the emotional content they brought with them, demanding to be aired.

What have you found the most rewarding?

Having We Were Just Kids published to Amazon as both an eBook and a Paperback and Google Lee Cern with multiple results, showing links to my Book and my website, it’s all very humbling to be truthful.

Do you have a project you are working on at the moment? Please tell us about it!

As well as writing ‘Where Will the Children Play,’ which is Book Two of the ‘Once Upon a Time in Belfast’ series. I’m attempting to promote my book through my Website (which is a learning process), Facebook, and Amazon’s Author Central. I’m contactable for Qs and A’s, and available for interviews.

I also have an Academic Paper as a work in progress to correct some of the falsities not only written about Divis Flats and it’s people, but of 1969.

Can you tell a little more about yourself? I’m intrigued!

I’m 59 years old, and was born on a Sunday morning in 1958 in the front bedroom of an old two up – two down damp invested terrace house in the Pound Loney area of Belfast, that was replaced by Divis Flats. My Mother used to say that the Church bells rang for me that day and all the other Churches joined in with that welcome. I believed that until I was about 10, and it still makes me smile.

Living in the little enclave below the spires of St Peters Chapel. We enjoyed like many other kids in places like Carrick hill, the innocence of a childhood protected from the new awakening changes taking place across the Northern Ireland. Changes that would bring with them a continuous drip feed of political and paramilitary transfusions that would rapidly dissolve all childish disneyed ideas many had from their wonderland minds. Infusions that would alter mindsets and communities. I think about those times and those old streets that I played on as a boy and tides of memories swept by the calm seas of those young years, ebb and flow forever, to and from the shores of my mind for all time. I remember those times when streets were still lit by the old gas lamps, every shadow was a ghost, and a cat’s wail on a backyard wall the Banshee crying as she combed her hair, and I buried my head in the pillows to drown out that sad wailing sound. Sometimes I think, just maybe it was the Banshee crying for what was to visit our homeland. The bombs and bullets. The madness, badness, deaths, and sadness. Something we never expected. After all, we were just kids. 

Nicely done! Thank you for sharing your story with us. 

If you would like to find out more about Lee, please visit his Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Lee-Cern/e/B078Q6RNDQ or website: leecernauthor.wordpress.com. You can also connect on Facebook.

Check Out His Newly Published Book…

Would YOU like to feature on my website? If so, then contact me and I shall get things moving!

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