While mulling over storylines for his first novel, Alan Dickson thought back to his growing up years, and how tales of hidden treasure gripped his imagination.
"I remembered reading a story about Captain Kidd and this so-called mythical treasure that was never found."
But he doubted if a pirate book would appeal to readers in this day and age until an appealing idea started to form.
"Maybe the pirate aspect could be a back story of a modern thing.
"That's when the story started to come together — just revisiting and reinventing something about this guy that no one had in any of the websites — which was his childhood and where he had come from.
"And then the story aligns with the modern elements based in the Carolinas."
The idea for writing a book started a few years ago as a personal challenge but was set in motion after a writing app called Scrivener piqued his interest.
A storyline was slowly developed, especially while taking his dog Bran for morning walks along Peka Peka Beach.
He started writing the 300 page historical mystery book The Find at the end of lockdown last year and was methodical in his approach.
"I found it very comfortable because I had a lot of stuff in my head, and knew roughly what I was doing, and had done the whole mind-map thing, that all I had to do was focus on one scene at a time and get it right."
After about half a year he had created the 97,000 word story before plucking up the courage to let his wife and a friend read it and offer feedback.
"I wanted to know if it worked — was the flow okay, was there enough in it, did they want to finish it.
"Their view was that it took a while to get started but then it picks up the pace and there's a few wow moments along the way."
Dickson said it was his intention to create a slow-burn start but he did make various changes based on his friend's comments.
"Some of the feedback was quite hard to take but most of it was very positive."
He was happy with the book and the whole experience.
"What I found most rewarding was that it [writing a book] could be done.
"It's not necessarily rocket science.
"You've just got to have a reasonable view of your story and its structure, and then set out to do it.
"You've got to have some ability to string sentences and thought patterns together, and make sure your storyline emerges, but really it's easily doable if you set your mind to it.
"I've enjoyed it."
The Find, in eBook form, is available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093YJ98KF?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420 before its official launch on June 1.
Synopsis for The Find:
The ship's carpenter carved 'Here Lies Treasure' on a rough wooden board, then 300 years later ... Jamie's drone image revealed a shape, a man-made shape, and he sets off on an expedition that would change his life.
A re-imagined backstory for a much vilified historical figure, intersects with the lives of two families in a small coastal community.
Previously hidden secrets change the lives of those involved in their discovery, and alter a town's view of where it came from.
Spanning many generations, the two strands illuminate an unresolved mystery, reveals how wealth founded on violence can still bring out the best in humanity, and tells the story of a young boy who inadvertently kickstarts a collective find.
And then there's his Dad's passion for rock music.