Features

Debut author’s thriller plot conceived in hospital

Retired solicitor John Lawrance on his experience writing a novel for the first time aged 72

John Lawrance, author of Hosting Andrew

My first novel, Hosting Andrew, has just been published. It tells the story of a kindly Enfield solicitor, Andrew Soulsby, who fails to listen to his instincts and is condemned to live an evil man’s life in a tailspin to destruction.

Plagued by dark memories that do not belong to him and arrested for crimes of which he has no knowledge, he faces professional ruin, bankruptcy and a prison cell. Can he discover what has happened to him, and will he find a way to survive if he regains the love of his wife and children, or is the truth altogether more terrifying?

Fantasy meets grim reality in this medico-legal mystery thriller which has an original twist.

I hope it is entertaining – in my view the primary purpose of any work of fiction – but it may give you pause for thought, questioning what it means to have a soul or sense of self.

It’s been hard work but fun to write Hosting Andrew. The idea came to me as I woke from a minor operation a few years ago, chilled at the sudden shutdown of life, devoid of dreams, and what seemed like an instant turning on again, bringing relief and joy at being alive.

I knew then that I had to write this story, develop the concept as I went along, and find the answers.

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After reading law at Queen Mary, London, I became a solicitor, practising in Enfield and Potters Bar for a combined total of almost 40 years. In my youth, I was a Middlesex County Cricket young professional at Lord’s, before enjoying many years of club cricket at Botany Bay in Enfield.


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I also indulged my other passion: a masochistic attachment to Tottenham Hotspur, watching the Spurs flattering to deceive with my son and daughter – although, as always, we feel this is going to be our season? (This may explain references in the book to Spurs and cricket!)

Many scenes in Hosting Andrew are set in my home town of Enfield, where I still live, and its publication represents the fulfilment of one of my childhood ambitions, namely to become an author. On the basis that it is never too late to open another chapter in life, following retirement from the law, I hope to pursue a new career as a novelist, while spending more time with my three granddaughters, and walking in the country parks of north Enfield with Sally, my wife of 44 years, and our gorgeous dog Victor.

Hosting Andrew is available in most bookshops and online. It is also available as an e-book:
Visit bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/book/420/Hosting%20Andrew/


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