A RETIRED Stourbridge banker has been picking up five-star reviews for his debut book after realising a lifelong ambition to become a published author.

Andrew J Mullaney published his debut book Didn’t Anyone Ever Tell You? It’s All A Game? in September and it has received only five-star reviews on Amazon.

Family man Andrew, who lives in Pedmore, wrote the self-help book, based on the life experiences of himself and others, after retiring in May 2019 from a 35-year career with Lloyd's Bank.

During the latter years of his career he was seconded to Business In The Community, one of the Prince of Wales' charities, as a business connector for Dudley, which gave him a passion for giving back and helping to improve the lives and well-being of others.

It led to him to help with many projects including social enterprises and developing young people. He became a founding board member/vice chairman of directors for Stour Vale Multi Academy Trust and acted as a mentor to the CEO from January 2017 to December 2020, and he continues to mentor people.

Meanwhile, he wrote his book telling how life is like a game of snakes and ladders - full of quick wins and unavoidable traps - and offering advice on how to play the game and become the best version of yourself.

Aimed at mentors, mentees and those on a journey of personal development, it features anecdotes and interviews including the inspirational stories of four of life's local winners - Dudley councillor Steve Waltho MBE, disability campaigner Ceri Davies BEM, Karl Denning and Frankie Graham.

Cllr Waltho said he was "immensely proud" to be featured and Andrew, aged 57, of Thurleigh Close, added: "Life stories such as Steve’s, Ceri's, Karl's and Frankie's need to be told as they are role models in our midst, in my opinion."

Published by Troubador, the book is available from the likes of Amazon, priced £10,99 for the paperback, or directly from the publisher - https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/self-help/didnt-anyone-ever-tell-you-its-all-a-game/.

However, getting the book out there has been more about impact than sales for Andrew, who is married with two grown up children.

He said: "I have written the book to hopefully change the stars of some of those who read it for the better. Self-publishing is rarely done for monetary return or reward. This has been a calling for me and one that I have answered and run to."

Twenty-five per cent of the proceeds from the book will be donated to charity, Andrew added.