A WEEKLY get-together for men to talk about their problems has served as an unlikely source of inspiration for a supernatural tale. 

A new novel by Newton Abbot author, Charles Marc Allen, tells of mythical beasts with social issues, who are seeking help for their problems.

Blood and Biscuits: Book One of the Supernatural Support Group features characters such as Jacob: a vegan zombie, Cain: a lonely werewolf and a witch called Alizon, who suffers with social anxiety and shyness.

Charles casually explains that his lightbulb moment arrived after he attended Andy’s Man Club – and thought: ‘What if everyone here was a vampire?’

Soon after, he was writing at a furious pace. His novel would comprise 10 chapters, each set around a weekly talking-group session, held in a church with a resident ghost who joins in and talks of feelings of loneliness. 

Charles began attending Andy’s Man Club after a period of struggling with loneliness. Even though he is married with two children, he found he was losing a ‘sense of who he was.’ 

After around a year of attending the club, he started to feel a positive impact of sharing with ‘other blokes’. 

Charles said: ‘I went to the club for about a year, and things started to get a lot better, knowing people out there, who had problems similar to mine really does help.’

It was soon after that Charles, who admits he has something of an active imagination, had his eureka moment. 

Over two years he threw himself into writing… ‘the words just fell to my fingertips,’ he said.

Given his busy schedule and family life, Charles found time during his breaks at work to write all about his new characters.

‘I couldn’t stop’, he explained ‘the words, characters and their stories didn’t take long to come to me.’

After sharing drafts with friends he began the process of slowly editing his writing.

The book is now available to buy and is already receiving great reviews. The author even committed to learning to draw so that he could illustrate it himself to get the right ‘feel’ for the characters and their alien worlds.

Charles hopes that the book – and how it came to be – will inspire people to talk about their problems.

For more information on Andy’s man club, please visit their Facebook page.

Blood and Biscuits: Book One of the Supernatural Support Group can be purchased in paperback or via Kindle on Amazon.co.uk