Cotswold District councillor Julian Beale turns thriller writer with first book, Wings of the Morning
THRILLER writer Frederick Forsyth is being given a run for his money by a new author.
Julian Beale hopes to measure up to the best-selling author's titles The Day of the Jackal and Dogs of War, with his first novel Wings of the Morning.
The 67-year-old, who lives in Donnington, has penned an action adventure story based on his travels in West Africa.
And the ripping yarn is a far cry from his day job – as Cotswold District Council ward member for Fossebridge, following his election last May.
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He has drawn on his travel experiences to write a tale to grip the reader.
"It's a saga with romance and friendship, with a bit of blood and guts thrown in," he said.
"It's written in a Frederick Forsyth style, but mixes facts with imagination, set against a background of places and people I know.
"I'm postulating a corrupted state in West Africa was taken over by a coup on the first day of this century."
A colonising force brings aid, relief and resuscitation and a new country, Millennium, is born and a new order established.
Mr Beale's creative side was realised after he retired from full-time work in 2008.
He worked for Land Rover in export markets and from 2000 was co-owner of a Guildford-based company representing Land Rover in countries including parts of West Africa. "I was never resident, but a bird of passage as a slightly more glamorous commercial traveller," he said. "But that's what imbued a lot of Africa in me.
"The book was a retirement project. It took 18 months to write from the beginning of 2010 and a further year to understand the publication process.
"It's a change from my district council role which I do enjoy – it gives me great pleasure to be of help to people in local issues."
Royalties from Wings of the Morning will go to Orbis Flying Eye Hospital and Zane, working for the destitute of Zimbabwe.
It will be published by Umbria Press in May.