Spy Adventures of a Speech and Language Therapist

Move over Harry Potter, as a pair of super sleuths make their debut in an adventure world created by an NHS Forth Valley Speech and Language therapist.

Glenn Carter’s first novel, Operation Sabre, targeted at 9-14 year olds, has just been published. The book, which took six years to write features three young people who are recruited to the youth division of MI5 and find themselves in a race against time.

Although Glenn, who works as a Speech and Language therapy co-ordinator for Stirling Health and Care Village, Falkirk Community Hospital and Clackmannanshire Community Healthcare Centre, has always loved reading, he did not set out to be an author. He only started down the writing path because he wanted to give his daughters a present for Christmas. Six Christmases later he accomplished his mission.

Operation Sabre features twins Paul and Rachel Fox, whose father has been kidnapped. Together with a friend they are drawn into the world of espionage to uncover the mole and find their Dad before it is too late. Glenn says that whilst the book has a lot of action there is also depth to the story and the reader gets to understand what drives the characters and explores how they deal with real life challenges.

He explained: “This may sound odd but the thing that sparked the start of the book was a vivid dream I had 6 years ago. Once I had developed the characters more fully it became a lot easier. At times it was as if the characters were driving the plot forward without any help from me!

“Apart from raising three daughters and my current job as a Speech and Language Co-ordinator with NHS Forth Valley, I think writing this book was one of the biggest challenges I have had to wrestle with. At times it felt like I was building a house from the roof down. So, yes it was hard to stay motivated and quite regularly I thought it was an impossible task. But with the help from my very understanding wife and a couple of really talented editors, I have finally made it.

Glenn is aware that the children and young people’s book market is very competitive and with digital taking over from print, getting kids to read can be something of a challenge. He says he would love to reach kids living in more deprived areas but hasn’t quite come up with a plan for that yet!

Throughout he has read the book to his daughters in instalments and says their reaction and joy on hearing the story has been his motivation to keep going. They have also have not held back when it comes to content that needed improvement. And the exciting book cover is the result of a competition he organised, inviting designers over the world to come up with ideas. This attracted contributions from Brazil, Indonesia and America.

Glenn thinks his initial story could work as a trilogy and already has broad ideas for a second and third book. He has however, no plans for a celebration to mark his first venture into print. He said: “One one of my daughters is getting a Nintendo for her birthday, so I’ll probably just collapse in front of that and properly switch off!”