Wollescote grandfather realises his dream to publish novels

Stourbridge News: Ray Leighton Ray Leighton

A WOLLESCOTE grandfather who had dreamed since his youth that he would one day write a book has celebrated getting his work out to the public thanks to the digital book revolution.

Raymond Leighton, of Oakfield Road, wrote endless poems, short stories, newspaper and magazine offerings in his younger days in the hope of pursuing his ambition of becoming a published author.

Life and family responsibilities, however, took hold and his dreams were put on ice.

But the desire to write remained strong and Mr Leighton, now aged 74 and retired, decided new technology could be the key to realising his long-held ambition to publish a novel.

The forward-thinking grandfather-of-nine, a life-long writer of letters to the News, soon became PC savvy and over the course of two years he wrote his first book The Afterlife Debriefing, swiftly followed by his second - Desperate Mothers; and he’s just completed a third - Configured for Optimum Performance.

All three have since been uploaded to read on digital devices, such as the Amazon Kindle, and are available to buy from Amazon and other online sellers worldwide alongside works by a host of established authors.

The first - The Afterlife Debriefing - tells the story of Nicholas Saunderson who dies shortly after spouting off spiteful words to his wife Mary.

While the second - Desperate Mothers - is about a Victorian baby farmer who is said to have murdered 50 babies which she adopted from unmarried mothers in return for cash.

This second offering has earned the septuagenarian scribe two five star reviews from Kindle readers who have praised his character development and hailed it an "exciting read".

The third is a self-help guide to encourage people to develop latent talents to achieve self-improvement and effective leadership skills.

Mr Leighton, a former production supervisor at Helix in Lye and a dedicated Mormon, said: “It is not particularly easy, preparing the text, reformatting, designing a cover, writing a blog and uploading for the Kindle but it worked wonderfully.

“It is heart-warming for an old codger like me to see myself in print. Some time ago I went into the library and a young lady approached me and said ‘hello, are you looking for the silver surfers club?’ “I joked and said ‘no but I have just written a book on the computer’ - she apologised and we both laughed.

“It’s interesting how older people are sometimes perceived.”

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