March author to publish his first novel aged 75 about a budding Olympic athlete

March writer Graham Sheppard hopes his first novel Potential will attract local readers. Picture: SU

March writer Graham Sheppard hopes his first novel Potential will attract local readers. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

A 75-year-old from March will publish his first novel about a struggling runner from the Fens who is on track to become an Olympic star after a twist of fate.

When he falls in the icy river it is only the bravery of passing stranger and ex-Olympic athlete and coach, Charlie Greaves, that saves his life.

With the Olympic Games in London the following year, they set their sights on a place in the Olympic team.

At home David's life has its problems with his 11-year-old son and live-in girlfriend at loggerheads.

The final chapters see whether David can win a coveted gold medal and regain the love of the woman who meant so much to him.

Graham, who would spend his lunch breaks writing in a local café, says that the setting of the novel has changed over the years, but the characters have remained the same.

"I have come to love the characters as though they are my own family," he said.

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"I started writing it over 20 years ago and at that time I was working for an insurance company in Surrey and would spend my lunch breaks writing in a local cafe.

"On my return the girls in the office would ask me to read my daily contribution.

"Why it has taken so long to complete I am not really sure but guess various aspects of my life have taken priority. But I was determined to complete the tale."

Graham's own sporting achievements also led to him writing about a budding athlete.

He continued: "My own sporting interests started when I won the half-mile at my secondary school.

"In my teens my interests moved to rowing and I reached the semi-finals at Henley.

"I also have run the London Marathon four times and in recent years I have been playing table tennis and play in both the Wisbech and Kings Lynn leagues."

Potential will be published on February 28, with Graham to release further details of where it can be purchased soon.

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