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Ilminster author realises long-held ambition at the age of 80
AN OCTOGENARIAN from Ilminster is celebrating after becoming a newly-published author.
Peter Hall, 80, who has lived in the town with his wife Wendy for ten years, has focused on travelling, painting and writing since he retired as a director of Shepton Mallet-based Showerings in 1993.
After enjoying various successes in his painting endeavours, his debut novel, Guardians of the Jesus Gene, is now being launched.
Set in first century Palestine, it re-creates the world’s first Christians and Nero’s Rome – a place of evil and a centre of Satanism.
The storyline is unique in that it features Simon, a brother of Jesus. Peter said: “We set out to enjoy myself after I retired 20 years ago, holding several art exhibitions and travelling with her, but I had always hankered after writing a novel.
“I was finally persuaded to do it one day when, returning from London to the Westcountry on a train, I realised I could do much better than the book I was reading.
“So, with the impetus of having nothing to read, I began writing and ended up writing the sequel, To the Death, at the same time. I struggled to find a publisher at first but with the help of an agent, we have managed to do so for both books.”
The sequel is set to be published next year, with the final book in the trilogy to come out in 2015.
Mr Hall added: “Wendy has been a huge support – she has taken care of all the editing and even types the final manuscript, which is an enormous task. The phrase ‘behind every successful man stands a woman’ is certainly true in this case.
“I kept it a secret from everyone else until recently but friends and family have all been very supportive and said they will buy a copy.
“It’s an odd feeling finally being published. Because I have spent so long hoping I would make it, it is a bit of an anti-climax, but I am still very pleased.”
Guardians of the Jesus Gene is already listed on Amazon, Waterstone’s and W.H. Smith websites, and will be published in hard copy format by Thames River Press on Monday.
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