Great news this week, when we learned from our Group Accountant, Gary Taplin, that he had successfully published his first novel.
They say there is 'a book in everyone' and Gary's long held dream of writing a book came to fruition when he was the unfortunate victim of a telephone scam. The experience was frustrating and Gary began thinking of the wider implications of the world of professional scammers. His novel, 'Scam', was born and has been published this month by Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.
Eager to find out more, we asked Gary:
"During the first lockdown I was scammed. Luckily I was one of the fortunate ones who realised it was a scam and managed to recover the money. This gave me the idea I had been looking for to write a crime novel. The actual scam described in the book broadly follows what happened to me, including the police calls at the end. When I look back it was clearly a scam, but at the time, when you are caught off guard and think you are dealing with authorities investigating a serious crime, you panic, and will do anything to help the people you believe will keep you out of trouble."
"When I started to research scams the amounts of money being stolen were staggering - over £1 million a day in the UK alone - and the numbers are increasing every year."
"I've always wanted to write a book but until I was scammed had never come across a subject that would give me a sustainable story line for the length of a novel. The average 300 page novel takes about 70,000 words and to create a story of that length is quite hard. However, I felt so passionately about the injustice of this subject that it became easier to create the plots and sub-plots as time went on."
"It took me 18 months to get my novel written, edited and published. I am lucky enough to have family and friends who have some experience of proof reading and editing. Their ideas and comments helped shape the finished article. Even the book cover design was done by a friend. Showing the novel manuscript to publishing houses and literary agents was a challenge but I was eventually able to self publish via Amazon, who offered an editing and printing facility."
"I've already started! Even though getting this first novel written, edited and published was quite demanding, I'm enjoying writing another one. The plot of this one is completely different, although I have left 'Scam' a little open-ended to be able to perhaps write a sequel.
"Relieved! It was hard work, but enjoyable and stimulating. Having had a horrendous experience with the phone scam myself, I feel I've been able to turn it around into something positive."
"I do enjoy murder-mystery/crime type novels. So my top 3 reads are:
We're very excited to have an author in our midst and several colleagues have ordered their copies hot off the press!
Congratulations to Gary for such an achievement.
If you would like to order your copy of 'Scam', it is available from Amazon UK as a paperback or Kindle version.