A seasoned look at life - September 27, 2012

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INSPIRATION emerges from unexpected moments – yet leads to our highest achievements. It’s just a matter of being receptive.

The other evening a television concert was echoing within Edmonds Towers – reminding me of when first being moved by opera.

It was a sultry evening on a Greek villa’s terrace when, wine glass in hand, I heard Puccini’s Nessun Dorma sung by Pavarotti. That star-lit, musky air was a perfect setting for the soaring music.

Later, of course, the aria became popular when adapted to the World Cup. Soccer-mad Italians didn’t mind that dumbing down. I’m no culture snob either and have since sneaked out of a few operas that went on too long.

Art, like beauty, is for everyone in my book – which brings me neatly to this week’s “plug”.

My latest novel, ‘Born Again Sinner’, will be out next month. It is set in Manchester, where I felt nostalgia for old pubs and the location of my first flat away from home, Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

‘Born Again Sinner’ is about a hardened newspaperman who “awakes” after being frozen for 25 years in a medical experiment. The former hell-raiser still looks 35 but is now a pensioner and grandfather - facing a dramatically different, digital and politically correct world. (Anyone aged above 50 knows how he feels.)

The book’s inspiration came partly from a fondness for old newspaper days, when reporters hung about smoky bars and late editions rattled off presses to waiting vans. But what really stirs the action is its hero’s awakening to our natural world.

At last escaping from his hospital bed, he is astonished that pedestrians bustle along pavements, shouting into mobile phones, but are blind to stunning skies above their heads. The one-time city hustler has become a man who loves trees and admires nature all about him.

By coincidence, at my local here in Great Marton, a neighbour recently asked for a copy of my first published novel. That was entitled ‘Where Angels Tread’ and, surprisingly enough, inspired by reading an obituary in a magazine at the dentist’s.

The neighbour, also a pensioner, seemed reluctant to pay anything for ‘Where Angels Tread’. But that’s the price of “fame” – an assumption you’re in profit. Still, I obliged and later slipped a dedicated copy through his letter-box.

My reward was to discover that the burly former tradesman also writes. Was it tough thrillers from the building sites or sizzling romances?

Neither, in fact, but thoughtful poetry moved by such natural beauty as seen on a walk through Stanley Park. He, too, had his eyes opened.

It just goes to show that, providing you are of a mind to look and listen, then inspiration is everywhere.

 Roy’s novels and other books are available in stores or online. Visit royedmonds-blackpool.com for full details.