A PAINFUL knee operation became a boon for Les Pobjie, with a collection of short horror stories he wrote during recovery becoming a milestone for the journalist of more than 40 years.
The Quakers Hill resident speaks with more than a murmur of pride about the other two authors in his family — daughter Emily Maguire released her sixth book Fishing for Tigers, while son Ben lent his comedic flair to The Book of Bloke within the same six months that his book, Murmurs in the Night, was released.
The tales bring a chilling twist to mundane events, from driving home to reality cooking competitions.
"Almost every one of them starts with a 'what if' in my mind," Mr Pobjie said.
"An ordinary situation in life, but suddenly what if something a bit different happened?
"A lot of creepy stories in the past have been set in old mansions and that sort of thing, so . . . hopefully [the everyday element] makes them a little bit more chilling."
Mr Pobjie began to write each story in March last year after a total knee replacement.
His target — to write 10 short stories by the end of the year — became a welcome distraction from physiotherapy during the recovery period.
In August a first draft was complete and the book was published in January. Mr Pobjie said he was blessed to be able to write quickly.
Murmurs In the Night is available through Amazon as a paperback or e-book.