Former Countdown queen Carol Vorderman is backing a local author’s debut thriller after he pledged to donate half of his profits to charity.
Michael Lancashire is giving his proceeds from The Voynich Deception to the Cleft Lip and Palate Association, CLAPA, after his daughter Beth was born with the condition in 2004. At just six months old, Beth had to undergo surgery repair to her cleft palate, which affects just one in 700 babies.
Thanks to the skilled staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, she made a full recovery and ten years on, no-one would ever guess the youngster had been born with the condition.
“Like most people, Verity (my wife) and I knew next to nothing about clefts and had no idea what to do,” said Michael, a father-of-three.
“Within hours a team from Birmingham Children’s Hospital had swooped in and were explaining how we could feed Beth and giving us bottles provided free of charge by the CLAPA.
“Six months later Beth had repair surgery and, with the exception of some glue ear that resulted in her having grommets fitted, has been fine ever since.
“Beth was lucky. Since her cleft was only of the soft palate she hasn’t had to endure some of the repeated operations and stigma that many children with clefts have to face. However, the experience left Verity and I with a desire to pay something back for all the support we received.”
Vorderman, the patron of CLAPA, has now tweeted her thanks to the Shirley-based writer for his generous support of the charity.
“Brother born with cleft & I’m patron of cleft charity CLAPA,” said the TV presenter who was also an anchor for Loose Women.
“Now great new thriller book out with 50% going to cleft. So thanks to author Michael Lancashire for The Voynich Deception.
“A great read and 50% to cleft charities as well xx.”
The Voynich Deception explores the real-life mystery that has surrounded an ancient and indecipherable manuscript since it was discovered more than a century ago.
When a book dealer disappears, the mob tracks down linguist reader Ben Jarvis, the only other man capable of doing what the world’s top cryptologists haven’t – deciphering the Voynich Manuscript.
“Lots of people have tried to decipher (the Voynich Manuscript) but can’t,” said the father-of-three.
“Sadly, I know quite a lot about linguistics and code and ancient writing, which is appallingly geeky.
“But the book was as much inspired by a love of twists and tricks.”
The Voynich Deception is available on Amazon.