A Crawley author’s debut novel will be published in April.
Alastair Puddick, 36, of Three Bridges, spent five years working on The Unexpected Vacation of George Thring.
The novel follows a man who runs away from home ‘by accident’ and stumbles into a small town’s annual Elvis Presley appreciation festival.
Alastair said: “I always wanted to write a comical novel, and I liked the idea of a man who runs away from home without meaning to.
“Much of George (the main character) and his dull life at the start of the book was inspired by a few pretty dull jobs I had when I was younger, so maybe it was all just my own desire to escape.”
Alastair wrote parts of the novel, set in a mystical Sussex town, in Crawley’s coffee shops and his flat.
Most of the book was written in a small cupboard in his flat, which he had converted into a quiet, windowless office. Laura, his fiancée, called it the “Harry Potter cupboard”.
He added: “Parts of it were written in the old Costa Coffee on top of Waterstones, which has closed down - a shame because it was my favourite place to write.”
Alastair spent a year promoting the book before it got the interest of publishers.
He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled.
“It’s getting harder and harder to get a book published nowadays, so I’m really happy that Raven Crest Books saw enough in my novel to publish it.”
He added: “I have to thank my fiancée Laura, for encouraging me to keep going and never give up.”
For updates on the book, visit www.alastairpuddick.wordpress.com