Tuesday, 22 June 2021

New novelist pens first book

A MAN from Henley has written an action adventure novel set in ancient Greece.

A MAN from Henley has written an action adventure novel set in ancient Greece.

Andy Duncan, who writes under the pen name Jack England, says he decided to write Sword Of Marathon after running out of books to read.

“I have always wanted to write fiction as I’ve always read a lot of it,” he said.

“I had been through Paul O’Brien’s and J R R Tolkien’s back catalogues several times and I had nothing else to read so I thought I’d better start now.

“It’s kind of a cross between Master And Commander, the Flashman novels and a bit of the Lord Of The Rings, tied together with ideas from Robert Graves.”

Mr Duncan, 46, of Elizabeth Road, was inspired by his friend, author Richard Blake, to write the novel, the first in his Blades Of Freedom trilogy.

They made a deal that Mr Duncan would write about the time period before Christ while Mr Blake would write novels set after Christ. He found the time to write the first draft by working between 5am and 7am, just after he woke up.

“I found it really helped me to me more creative, when I was almost in a dream-like state,” he said. “I sat down and started writing and it just flowed. It’s almost like the characters tell me what is going to happen some of the time.”

He says he knew he wanted to write about the Greeks because he has always been fascinated by them.

Mr Duncan, director of a financial company, designed the cover of the book and drew his own illustrated maps. He says receiving the finished product was very surreal.

“It was amazing really, it was kind of like a dream,” he said. “It was very weird. You spend so long working on something and so to see it in the flesh was almost like a baby being born.

“I found it much easier to write when I am somebody else. I would be very reticent to write some of the things I have written but as Jack England I can write anything.

“The book is a bit rude in parts and a bit gory. Lots of ladies want to be with the main hero, and it’s quite violent in his battle scenes which some people have found a bit too much.”

Mr Duncan is now three-quarters of the way through the first draft of his second novel.

“I’m having more fun writing the second book because I am confident that it is going to be published,” he said. He hopes he might be able to become an author full-time in the future.

He said: “It’s an interesting hobby at the moment and it’s much more fun than playing golf.”

Sword Of Marathon costs £7.19 and can be purchased from www.amazon.co.uk Digital copies are available for Kindle, iBook and Nook.

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