Writing has always been an integral part of my life, with letters (now emails), journalling, short stories and poems helping to satisfy my incurable need to take up pen and paper and tell stories. I published my first book, A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock in 1989, and since then have written two more of the same genre – a humorous take on my own foibles and the delightful and colourful people who pass my way as a minister of the Presbyterian church. My latest book takes a different tack, telling of my own and others’ experiences of what is sometimes called “paranormal” – those unexplained events in our lives that we sometimes leave untold for fear of being thought just a bit odd! I am telling these stories unvarnished, although I have taken the time to shed a light theological reflection to help us see these events in a Christian context. I hope you will enjoy reading as much as I have enjoyed writing!
Some comments from readers:
“One Memorable Summer: A Scottish Adventure”
“I’m ordering three more of your book ‘One Memorable Summer’… I so enjoyed all your books and have become the designated orderer for St Davids.” Beth
‘I have just your One Memorable Summer in record time. I was unable to put it down.’ Janette
‘Congratulations! What an entertaining and delightful read….’ Russ
I will be looking for this author’s other books… “A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock” and “A Kangaroo Loose in Shetland.” Recommended.’ “Insights” magazine.
I was so disappointed when I got to the end. I kept wanting it to go on.’ Netta
‘…almost like a sitcom in the style of Heartbeat, Doc Martin or the Vicar of Dibley. It is a highly readable, light and easy style and the Gaelic is almost always translated.’ Rev Ivan Ransom
“Lachlan Ness couldn’t resist the lure of northern Scotland, and neither can we, his readers, as we accompany him in his second book chronicling his experiences as a locum parish minister, this time in Caithness, in the north-eastern corner of mainland Scotland.There are travellers’ tales aplenty, of adventures in Inverness and Glasgow, the West Coast and Orkney, as well as around the historic sites of Caithness, but we don’t go just as tourists. We find out something of what it is like to live there, amongst the locals of a Scottish country parish. It is apparent that Scotland is very different from Australia in its natural beauty, history, culture and traditions; even language, yet here are people we can get alongside, just as Lachlan and his wife Janet did. He takes us into their family life and work, their celebrations and their sorrows. We meet the hard-working deacon, his session clerk wife, the church choir, a one-legged old soldier, a retired shepherd, the local con-man, Samantha the cat, to mention a few. It is likely that many of those good Presbyterians knew from the Shorter Catechism that “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” One way to enjoy Him is to enjoy His creation in nature and in His people. Here is a book where you can do just ES
“A Kangaroo Loose in Shetland: Excerpts from a Diary”
‘Thank you so sincerely for the two copies of your wonderful book! What a beautiful experience, and it’s wonderful that you could share it with us all, through your book.’ M&D
‘Thank you for your book, which I found hard to put down. I was transported back to Shetland, to the land of puffins… and a beauty that is simply inspiring… I shall cherish these memories always.’ Olive ‘…
The title of his book reflects Lachlan’s particular brand of humour that laughs at his own foibles and enjoys those of other people, always with affection. One could almost say that as James Herriott was to Yorkshire and veterinary practice, so Lachlan is to Shetland, and parish ministry. In Lachlan’s charming account of his day to day adventures and encounters, you will see something of Shetland’s remote and windswept beauty, and learn of its wildlife, its history and pre-history, and even some of its dialect. The people of the North Isles will become your friends, as they did for Lachlan and his wife Janet, and with him you will delight in the handiwork of God in both His creation and His people… Good holiday reading!’ ES in “Span”
“A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock”
‘This book is one of those rare finds, a rich and genuine vein of homegrown Australian ecclesiastical humour, in the best tradition of Father Hartigan of “John O’Brien” fame. The author has an obvious love for the wild Australian bush and the robust people who carve their living there… A Kangaroo Loose in the Top Paddock is an hilariously funny book from a writer of great literary talent… the publishers claim that at the end you will put this book down with a warm glow. I read it, and I did!’ ITC
Well I can say that at this stage after reading your first book I had trouble reading it as my eyes shed so much water from laughter especially the first chapter, and concluding with the cat and the relief minister. Well done Lachlan – a really wonderful book/story and so Australiana in describing the New England countryside, I was rather overwhelmed by your descriptions and have decided I must once more visit that region, I love the trip thru Ebor to Bellingen. RL
“The Ness Fireside Book of God Ghosts Ghouls and other true stories”
” Your wonderful new book arrived yesterday – thank you, and I just loved the way you started into it, inviting us into your home. What a great way to capture your readers’ interest, right from the start!” MR
“I have to say that I am thrilled with your explanations of ‘ghosts, spirits, strange happenings’ as you connected all these things to the Bible. I have always believed that there was an explanation for these strange happenings, but now I can continue to believe in them for the right reasons.” VP
“A collection of experiences about ghosts, life after death and premonitions recounted to Lachlan by genuine people and written in the author’s wonderful and intriguing style. Lachlan as a Presbyterian minister delivers through this latest book some amazing experiences encountered by members of his congregations and many friends, including experiences of his own. The subject is most interesting but could be considered controversial, certainly for some readers; nevertheless the contents are thought provoking – and if one puts a mind to it not often spoken about. On reflection it makes the reader recall some unexplained events in his or her past. I recommend purchase.” Ian McLennan
“I couldn’t put it down! Story after story of people’s encounters with the supernatural and unknown. From ghosts and apparitions to ufo’s and out of body experiences, this is a must read. Superbly written in a light hearted conversational style, this book is for those who have ever contemplated life beyond this life, or the supernatural, unexplained things that happen to ordinary people. I highly recommend this book.” SAL
Your latest book was wonderful Lachlan and such a great and interesting read. My husband is into it now, so it shall be fun to discuss it with him when he’s finished it. I mentioned it to my daughter last week, but it appears she beat me to it by buying a copy for her Kindle a few weeks ago. She loved the book, and is keen to write to you to thank you for your views on animals and their place in Heaven. I think you shall be inundated with emails from folk sharing their own experiences after they have read your book. How many books do you have the energy to publish, Lachlan? You have lifted the lid on a very interesting topic indeed, and though I have read a few books on this subject before, I really appreciate your Christian approach. Thank you indeed. M
I haven’t read any of the new book yet but guess I’ll enjoy it as much as the others – I can read them over and over! … Keep writing and I’m sure I’ll enjoy every bit of it! Nancy H
When I first glanced at the title of this book my first thought was “oh well….another story about ghosts and strange happenings that is intended to bewilder and scare us.
But wait!!!!! That is strange!!!! There is another word in that title……”God” – and that puts a different perspective on these stories. I started to read, all the while wondering what God had to do with ghosts, hauntings, strange sightings etc.
I soon discovered that this is a serious book, written by an author with a great faith in God and a belief that God’s hand is evident in all these happenings – and he tempers it with subtle humour here and there.
The old saying comes to mind – “there is no such thing as co-incidence – there IS THE HAND OF GOD. This book became a great challenge to me as I read the various stories given to Lachlan by many other people.
When, almost finished reading I shared the outline of the book with my younger “sister” Billie, whose mother died when she was only 2 from complications of another pregnancy, so Billie lost her mother whom she can hardly remember and the expectation of having siblings.
She then told me that when she grew up and married and then became pregnant she was naturally apprehensive about having children of her own and one night in a deep sleep, she was awoken by her mother standing beside her, touching her on the shoulder – she was so shocked she reached out to touch her mother when she said quietly “Billie it will be alright – don’t worry!” and she then faded away.
Billie said she saw her mother a few more times when she was pregnant and her reassurance brought her great comfort – although she was gone from this world she seemed to be still watching over her little girl.
Billie had never been confident enough to share this story till I told her what I believed and how my beliefs had been reinforced by reading Lachlan’s book.
The book is not only about us humans and ghosts but animals and Lachlan firmly believes that animals have souls – I had never really given this much thought till I read the book and reflected on some of the beautiful, mysterious pets our family have had – I know that Solomon the beautiful Russian Blue cat who was part of our family for some time, definitely had a soul and possibly more wisdom that we have.
There are so many statements in the Bible that back-up the stories told here – it has deeply influenced me and my faith in God is stronger now that I know some more of the wonders he performs.Thank you for sharing your faith Lachlan. Vera.