He hopes to use his success in battling back from adversity to inspire other people facing their own challenges and mental health problems to ‘continue to chase their own dreams’.
Damien Tiller, 33, who grew up in Leigh Park, struggled with dyslexia at school and by the age of 17 had found himself suffering from mental health issues and living in a squat in Bournemouth.
Damien said: ‘I’d nowhere to live and was suffering from depression. A friend of mine said it might help to write things down. Things were so tough that I found this very difficult to do. In the end I created a fantasy in my head which was based on the things I had seen and difficulties I’d encountered while homeless.
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‘This forms the basis of what will be my third book called Winter’s Child which I plan to release in the autumn.’
The budding author’s second book, A Tailor’s Son, is a fantasy crime thriller in which the main character becomes embroiled in a gangster underworld after being accused of a murder he didn’t commit.
‘He’s basically in the wrong place at the wrong time after a pub burns down. Both the police and the gangsters who owned the pub are trying to track him down while he looks to find out the cause of the fire,’ said Damien.
The book is the second in a series of dark fantasy depictions set in the fictional city of Oakenfall. Damien has already sold ‘hundreds of copies’ of his first book and has a Facebook following of 550 people.
Damien, who now lives in Fleet, added: ‘Oakenfall is loosely based on the Old Town in Portsmouth.’
While Damien hopes to one day become a full-time writer, of greater importance is inspiring others who may have experienced similar adversity.
‘Hopefully after hearing my story other people going through bad times can aspire to do something they didn’t feel was achievable,’ said Damien.
The book, which is due to be published on August 31, can be purchased on Amazon.