AN author is hoping book worms will be left bewitched after the publication of his latest novel.

Chipping man and longtime Pendle witches enthusiast Barry Durham has launched his supernatural paperback thriller Familiar Territory as a prequel to his ‘surprisingly’ successful debut adult fiction effort last year.

The 66-year-old, who moved to the Ribble Valley in 1971 after growing up in Blackley in Manchester, said he had been ‘fascinated’ with the the story of the Pendle witches since reading about them when he was 15.

He started writing more than a decade ago in his spare time as a way of engaging people with his interest.

He began to publish his efforts after he decided to retire as journalist and lecturer at UCLan.

Gaining a publishing deal from self-publishing organisation Lulu for his first book The Demdike Legacy, he dug out his old notes to create his latest story after the book began to sell well online.

The plot involves a troubled psychic who becomes the subject of an attempted rescue effort by the Pendle Witches.

Barry, who lives in Kirklands, said: “I released Demdike Legacy as a way of sharing my research hobby in a fun and creative way but when it began to sell surprisingly well I decided to pursue writing full time.

“I dug out my really old notes that I had stored on floppy disks and began to remodel them as a prequel to the novel and I hope that people think that it has worked well.

“The Pendle Witches have continued to fascinate me for such a long time that I love having the chance to share my passion with other people.

“I’m really pleased with it so will just have to see how it’s received by the public.”

Although avaialble to buy now on Amazon and Lulu he will be hosting an official launch on Hallowe’en.

For more information about Barry’s work visit his Facebook Page at pages/Barry-Durham-Author/157012611163594.