The book inspired by a dare

jpco 24-12-14 Jeff Richards (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141218-125426001

jpco 24-12-14 Jeff Richards (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-141218-125426001

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A doctor had his first book published some 30 years after a television and film actress dared him to write it.

Jeff Richards, 65, an osteopath who runs The Richards’ Centre in Three Bridges Road, wrote Indigo Heartfire, which was published by TicketBoo Press on Wednesday (December 17), in 1991.

He said Carol Hawkins, who starred in Please Sir!, a 1970s television series, spurred him to write the love story in the late 80s.

Jeff claimed he could write better television scripts than professional writers to the actress, who he was treating at the time.

He said: “I said I could do better than that and she literally said I’d like to see you try - and so I tried.”

Jeff was proud of his writing skills’ progress over the years and becoming a published author.

He completed an MA in Creative and Critical Writing at Sussex University in 2011.

Indigo Heartfire, the first of a three-part series, has been made available on Amazon as an ebook.

TicketyBoo Press will publish the second in the series, Emerald Heartfire, in March and the third next Autumn.

The publisher gave Jeff a gold sovereign advance as a tribute to his family’s literary history.

His great-great-great-grandfather, Captain Marryat, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, vowed to keep the first gold sovereign he earned from a book he was writing in 1833.