AFTER years of penning short stories and poems, a Wall Heath author will finally release his debut novel next month.

Tom Butler, aged 63, has completed the drafts of seven novels over the years but this is the first time he has had his work published.

The self-employed driver, who runs a light haulage business, spent nine months writing Caught, which tells the tale of Sam Woodall, a professional jump jockey, who turns detective to find out who is trying to sabotage his father's business.

Despite the relentless stress, brought on by arson, assault and attempted murder, Sam must also maintain his position in the dangerous and demanding world of National Hunt Racing.

Mr Butler said: "After many years of writing for my own amusement and with great encouragement from my wife Wendy, I decided to try writing novels that might be commercial enough to interest a publisher.

"Inspired by the likes of Dick Francis, and pursuing a long time interest in horse racing, I wrote three novels in quick succession. Caught, which I began in 2011 was the one I sent off in draft form and had accepted early last year."

He already has two options for his next book, he revealed: "I am nearing completion of two very different novels. One is set in the East Midlands and is about a family torn apart by tragic events and the lives of the three children thereafter and the other is based on the life of a wedding planner whose complex life is full of adventure."

Caught is released in paperback by Book Guild Publishing on February 27 and is available from Amazon, priced £10.99.