Author's Bogeyman in Whitby book is a 20-year labour of love

A woman who started a book 20 years ago finished it off during lockdown after discovering a group which helps people with dyslexia.

By Louise Hollingsworth
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:35 am
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 11:36 am
Jenny Camara and one of the characters in her book.
Jenny Camara and one of the characters in her book.

Life and Times of a Bogeyman, which follows a lonely character on his adventures around Whitby was written by Jenny Camara, a 72-year-old woman who has dyslexia.

The bogeyman lives at California Beck, which is known locally as Calla Beck and visits different places around Whitby, such as the Abbey and going out to sea.

When lockdown hit, Jenny was 70 years old and didn’t know what to do with the spare time she suddenly had. That’s when she decided to finish this story she started 20 years ago.

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In her fifties, Jenny found out about a group that helped people with Dyslexia.

Jenny said: “One of the exercises we did was Where When Who and I wrote this poem about a bogeyman, and that's where the story started. I started writing these stories for my son, using places we know, about 20 years ago. Friends were reading them and were saying “these are really good stories, we like these, it’s fun for us to read and fun for us to read to the kids”.

The story ended up getting shelved, as Jenny didn’t have time to sit down and write.

She was given an old computer, and she used this computer to write the story into, by dictating into the computer.

She’s since learned how to correct any errors in the story.

Jenny moved to Whitby 35 years ago, after living in London.

Jenny hopes that people who also have dyslexia can be inspired to write their own stories. She said: “People that don’t understand word blindness and dyslexia, it’s something you cannot learn. So many people do not understand it, but with help, you can overcome it. You can do it.

“I now talk most of my work into the computer, the technology is available. People who think to themselves ‘I can’t do that, I can’t spell’, I’ll say ‘okay, don’t worry about it, you’re not the only one’.

“If you’ve got the imagination, just let go and do it. If you’d have known me 20 years ago, or even less than that, I’d never have been able to do what I’ve done.

“I’m now in the middle of writing a further two books, I’m about halfway through both of them and there’s more snotty stories to come out.”

The book is published under the pseudonim Jenny May and is available to purchase electronically on Amazon.