HILLFIELD writer Shirley Thompson has been planning her first novel for a long time.
The plot for Adrift in Paradise came into her head 13 or 14 years ago, but it’s only recently that she found time to write the story.
Since taking early retirement in the 1990s, Shirley has helped tell the story of some of the region’s biggest names - including the actor Pat Roach, writer Alton Douglas and - most recently - nightclub king Eddie Fewtrell.
“I’ve been interested in writing since I was seven-years-old,” explained the former primary school teacher.
“Even at that age I was making little, paper books which were usually about animals. I was brought up locally so I used to spend a lot of time in Shirley Library - finding books to read.”
During her days as a teacher, she used to love showing her pupils how to write. But it was only after she left the classroom behind that her passion for telling stories was realised. Tucked away in her converted loft, she has tapped out several best-selling biographies.
After finishing Eddie Fewtrell’s biography, King of Clubs, Shirley seized the chance to write a fiction book.
“The book itself is a mix of different genres and writing the biographies has really helped me get a feel for the characters. I have interviewed so many people over the past few years and I’ve been able to draw on those personalities.
“I’m really excited about this project, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for such a long time.”
Adrift in Paradise will be launched at Solihull Borders on September 5 and Shirley will be signing copies between 12noon-2pm.
To find out more go to www.shirleythompson.me.uk.