AN EX-SERVICEMAN from Barrow says he wrote a thriller novel as a means of recovering from his depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

The author, who goes by the pseudonym of Kaber Barras, did not want to give his real name, but he is from Yarlside and does supply teaching at Furness Academy and other schools. 

Barras' first fiction novel is a thriller called The Myrtle Tree. 

The main character, Ed Bennett, retires from the forces and heads for a vacation with his fiancée, Esther. However Esther is abducted days into their stay. Racing against time, Ed pursues the kidnappers to stop them crossing into Syria but finds his progress blocked by Western governments. 

Esther's disappearance slowly unravels to reveal a deadly computer virus at the core. 

Barras based his novel on a real computer virus called Stuxnet, which was allegedly created by the United States and Israel to target Iran's nuclear program. He said that he started researching about the virus all the way back in 2010 and has only now been able to publish and publicise the novel. 

He said he was a diving engineer for the navy in the 1980s, which took him on tours across the globe. 

The authors who inspire his non-fiction writing are Robert Ludlum, Andy McNab, Clive Cussler and Lee Child, particularly the Jack Reacher series. 

Barras said that lots of 'information and knowledge' from his service days went into the novel, even though he admits that it was now 'a long time ago.' 

For fellow servicemen and women suffering from PTSD, he said: "Seek help, seek advice. Talking does help, for me the writing does help. If you have got a network of people use them, lean on them, they won't mind. Poetry, writing art, any medium that just helps you explain and explore yourself a bit better."

When asked how to approach writing a first book, he said: "Do it - just do it. if it's rubbish you will know at the end it's rubbish but you will never know unless you do it. Just write it - it's like a jigsaw." 

The book is available on Netgallery, Lovereading, Google and Amazon.