Mark Gibbons Launches Book Of Dark Tales

Cloch Mór Lore supernatural events chronicled by Mark Gibbons in new book

Cloch Mór Lore supernatural events chronicled by Mark Gibbons in new book

Crotlieve Independent Councillor Mark Gibbons has a tale to tell. On 9th December he will be publishing his first collection of ghostly and supernatural tales from around the Kilbroney area and it is already creating quite a stir.

Chatting about his new writing venture and how it came about, Mark Gibbons said: “During the dark depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was trying to help everyone, anywhere at every hour of the day.

“As a local Councillor I was jumping from pillar to post across the District and it was clear to see that my mental health was beginning to suffer.

“I remember my wife Claire saying one night that I ‘needed to practice what I preach’ when it came to looking after my mental health.

“My Council work was all-consuming and I could feel the dark clouds rolling in. It was really time to take a step back and stop trying to be Johnny Hero. It was time to breathe a little.

Crotlieve Councillor Mark Gibbons will be launching his debut collection of supernatural takes on Amazon on 9th December set around Rostrevor.

“Ever since I was knee-high, I always loved writing and I was inspired and encouraged by my mother. I decided to take a few hours a week to switch off (after my Council work and when Sophie my daughter went to bed) to write a book of my own.

“It was just for my friends and family. Something simple and not too deep. Like a paddling pool, safe and a bit of fun.”

Mark added: “I have always loved old traditional Irish ghost stories and I have recognised this ancient art of storytelling has been slowly dying. We have neglected the joy of conversation, as mobile phones and social media have contributed greatly to its demise. 

“So I said to myself: ‘Feck it, life’s too short’.

“I picked my grandfather’s name Frank O’Neill (the Rostrevor side) as a nom de plume to help me disconnect.

“I’ve always been a big Stephen King, Shirley Jaskson and Ray Bradbury fan, so you can probably guess what spooky road I was heading down (and not a torch light in sight).

“I wanted to relive that feeling when the hairs stand on the back of your neck as you hear a ghost story unfold. Seeing the goosebumps rising on your arm as you get a sense that you are not alone.

“It was about trying to awaken that dormant feeling of dread in every  story. Each tale in the book is also connected to Cloch Mór – yet I wanted each one to be able to stand alone on its own two feet. More importantly, every single story has an element of truth in it.

“The good ghost stories are always the real ones that are kept within families and communities like rare gems. I’ve just blown the dust off a number of them while creating my own for good measure.

Cloch Mór Lore, a collection of supernatural tales written by local Crotlieve councillor Mark Gibbons will be launched on 9th December

“And what is lovely about having Frank O’Neill as the author name was that no-one knew it was me writing the book. I sent a number of the stories into competitions in England and America for the craic and they did well – to my surprise. 

“To think that Cloch Mór Lore had got a bit of a cult following now in England and America and the book itself hadn’t even been released is mind boggling.

“Interestingly, I was in talks with a traditional publisher who reached out to me after they read the manuscript, but they wanted me to soften the scares and make it a little more fluffy and lighter.

“That wasn’t going to happen! So I thanked them for taking the time to even consider me and they gave me some great advice that really helped me move forward.”

Mark said that another point that caught him off guard was the positive impact the unfinished manuscript had on supportive authors, editors and illustrators who enjoyed the first draft.

He said: “I am forever grateful to them for giving me the confidence to complete the book and their continued advice and guidance has been simply unbelievable. 

“Author of Ghost Walk,Sarah Wragg, reviewed Cloch Mór Lore and said: The narrator chronicles supernatural phenomena and ghostly hauntings that have afflicted the parish of Kilbroney for centuries (the relevance of the name will become clear as you enter the world of this quietly simmering area of Ireland).

The histories are centred around Rostrevor, a cursed village where life and death merge so seamlessly. You can no longer be sure who’s living and who’s the living dead.” 

“This is a book that doesn’t need to set the scene.

The writing draws you in almost instantly, encouraging your mind’s eye to create your own dark winter’s night where you’re sitting around an imaginary fire, open-mouthed at the beautifully told tales designed to chill you to the very bone.

From the boy who never gets invited to birthday parties, the limb-snatching Serpatoe, a revenant family dog, or the terrifying Mongolore, there’s a spirit for every occasion. And be warned, some of them will linger in your head for a long time to come.

“So now after three years of writing, unraveling and remembering what has been swirling around in my head for a lifetime,” Mark added: “I am delighted to announce that Cloch Mór Lore will be available to buy on Amazon Kindle & Paperback on December 9th with Pre Orders available now.

“The best advice I’d give anyone on mental health who has a job that brings large amounts of stress with it, is to make sure to switch off at some stage and do what you love.

“Even if it’s just for a few hours a week. Your mental health is your wealth and those hours away will help you recharge the batteries and you’ll be ready again for whatever life throws at you. 

“Regardless of how well Cloch Mór Lore does, I’ll continue to write for the love of it anyway. Book Two is already on the way and my Council work is benefiting as my blue, sunny skies continue to shimmer with the enjoyment of it all. And not a cloud in sight.

“And lastly, a big thank you to my family and close friends who have supported me quietly throughout the writing process and a Happy Christmas everyone!”

Well done to Mark Gibbons for publishing his debut work, Cloch Mór Lore and for discovering the therapeutic answer to life’s enduring stress.

You can Pre Order Cloch Mór Lore now on Amazon at the promotional ebook price of £1.99 and the paperback will be available on December 9th for £9.99 & ebook £2.99. Just type in Kilbroney and the book can easily be found.

Or follow the link:

Amazon Books UK – Cloch Mór Lore


A Demon Is on the Loose in the Village of Rostrevor

When a frightening demonic force, nicknamed Brony, unleashed a furious attack in the parish of Kilbroney, Rostrevor became a cursed village. And after more people started to die and disappear in terrifying and mysterious circumstances, local people established a secret society to exorcise the demon and keep his existence from the public, but their formidable adversary is determined to claim their souls…’