…back when we were growing up, my sister Denise was terrified of the ‘Shooter men.’
And so I used to have to run with her to the outhouse ‘our outdoor toilet’ and stand outside the door standing guard.
‘Stay there and don’t leave me.’
‘I won’t,’ I’d reply, listening to the crackle of gunfire going off. ‘They can’t get you.’
The ‘Shooter Men’ were in fact, the Irish Army that had a shooting range across the bay from where we lived.
And due to the troubles in Northern Ireland in the ’70s, there were busy making sure that they were ready for anything. – Not that any of them wanted to get involved in any of it.
‘OK, I’m ready.’
I’d hear the bolt being pulled open, and then there was the mad dash to the door of the old station house that we used to live in.
Yeah, we lived in an old disused railway station, but that’s for another day’s email.
Going back inside, my sister would give me a big hug.
‘Thanks for saving me from the Shooter Men.’
‘That’s what big brothers do.’
Saver of small girls from imaginary bad guys, and protector of people’s time and effort.
How do I do the second part?
By showing people what book ideas are worth working on.