Sixth novel for St Annes man Geoff

Geoff Lee with a copy of his latest book, Three Good Years
Geoff Lee with a copy of his latest book, Three Good Years
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Not everyone is able to turn their real life experiences into a series of novels, but that's what St Annes man Geoff Lee has done.

Retired draughtsman Geoff, 79, of St George's Road, has just had his sixth book, Three Good Years, published.

Although the warm and often humorous stories he weaves and the characters in them are fictional, they are based on people he has met over the years - and the sort of expressions they used.

And the fictional South Lancashire town of Ashurst, where they are set, more or less doubles for his former home town of St Helens.

Three Good Years is set between the years 2006 and 2008 against the general background of the world banking crisis and how it impacts on a local engineering works and ordinary people.

It also includes plenty of references to his favourite sport - Rugby League.

Geoff, who spent many years working for the British Insulated Callenders' Cables in St Helens but later lived in London and parts of Yorkshire, said: "All six novels are set in the same place over of span of around 45 years.

"Much of the action in the latest one continues to take place in the drawing office of Wilkinson's Engineering Company in Ashurst.

"I find that in order for a fictional work to really work, there has to be a real ring of truth to it.

"I enjoy listening to the way people talk and I base a lot of thing in these books on real life.

"As a draughtsman I had to pay a lot of attention to detail and in these books I have to check my facts to make sure I don't contradict what I've already written!"

Geoff's first novel, One Winter, took eight years to write but he says he is now into his stride and the latest one took just two years.

But finding a publisher at the start of his literary journey was not easy.

He said: "I was rejected by every publisher I approached - but eventually a Manchester firm, Parswell Press, realised my first novel had lots of Rugby League references in it and decided to take a gamble

"One thing the boss suggested was changing the title I'd given it.

"He told me my idea, "Tales of a Northern Draughtsman", was not a good title and suggested that "One Winter" might be better. I think he was right!"

Three Good Years is available to buy online through Amazon and other outlets.