Burnley pastor’s new book about road from drug dealing to helping addicts with foreword by Prince William becomes an international Amazon bestseller
A Burnley pastor’s new book about his road from drug dealing to helping addicts, with a foreword by Prince William, has become an Amazon bestseller.
The Burnley Express reported last week that Pastor Mick Fleming has launched his powerful autobiography, Blown Away: From Drug Dealer to Life Bringer.
Now the memoir, which charts both his own addiction battles after being sexually abused, and former life in Burnley’s criminal underworld, has landed in the top 50 books worldwide on Amazon in just a few days.
Commenting on its international success, Pastor Mick said: “It’s crazy. I’m shocked, really shocked. People who have read the book and struggled with addiction or been sexually abused have sent me emails to say they got a lot of comfort and hope from the story. People have been touched by it. That’s what my hope and prayers were, so I’m really pleased.”
Pastor Mick, who says he struggled to write the book due to his dyslexia, dictated the text to create an intimate tone.
He said: “I’d never written a book in my life. It was really difficult. I spoke it out-loud and someone else typed it up for me. It sounds like someone’s talking to you, and I wanted it to sound authentic.”
But it was also difficult to write as he had to reface his past demons.
“The things I deal with in the book stirred me in a way I didn’t think they would,” he said.
“There’s a chapter called 50 Pence Piece. I was going to school and was attacked. I squeezed the 50p in my hand and pushed it right into my skin. When I was writing it, I’d forgotten how I’d gotten the scar on my hand. It’s a big scar.
"I thought, ‘How could you forget that?’
"But my mind had been protecting me.
"Writing the book brought those memories back and I started getting flashbacks.”
The story does not glamorise violence or crime, he adds, but shows how his mental health spiralled into addiction following childhood trauma, and led him into crime.
He added: “Years of drug abuse, anger and resentment put me in a place where I didn’t want to live, and I’ve had to remember those times and the people I’ve hurt. I’ve had to look at all that again.”