What I’m working on


A young adult fantasy novel

I’m currently working on a story about a 14-year-old boy who suffers from a new and rare disease called radar. Shortly after his mother dies from the same illness, he escapes into a bizarre world deep beneath his garden filled with extraordinary people and beings.

While writing this story, I drew directly from my years – and the humbling experiences – working as a social worker in HIV/AIDS and now cancer.

I also workshopped the story online for a limited time for ‘beta-reader’ feedback. The readers were mostly teenagers or in their early 20s. As they read through the chapters, many provided feedback at the end of a chapter. I was lucky enough to receive close to a hundred comments and at times made changes to the story based on the feedback – some small changes, some big.

Here’s a sample of some the comments that I just had to share with you (forgive!):

  • ‘This is an awesome book! The ideas and imagination that was in it was amazing. This is a book I won’t forget. I’m sad to have finished this, I really enjoyed the characters and Cee’s journey through this. I feel a bit sad, I don’t want this book to end.’ (Comment from the last chapter, Chapter 92: The Middle Bit.)
  • ‘What?! Noooo! The last chapter with his dad made me cry! Still, it was awesome! Love love love it! Read it in one day cos i couldn’t put it down….’  (Comment from the last chapter, Chapter 92: The Middle Bit.)


Beneath the surface there is The Underplane.

There is Deeper Down.

There is Deeper Still.

2 thoughts on “What I’m working on

  1. Hi Rawan.
    Thank you! Your comment has made my day. Much appreciated. Unfortunately, the publisher who loved it wasn’t able to find a home for it. So I will need to look around for someone else. But I’m very happy it’s one of your favourite stories.
    All the best to you.

  2. Years later, “Christopher Reuben and the Curious World beneath his Garden” is still one of my favorite stories. I’ve been wanting to re-read it for ages, but I’m sure the final product will be worth the wait! Wishing you the best of luck, Mr. O’Connor!

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