Losing his job helped Roger
REDUNDANCY forced a Beverley man into realising a life-long dream of becoming an author.
Roger Driscoll’s first book, Echo McCool, Outlaw Through Time, is now rated as one of the top 10 best reads of the year by the website www.goodreads.com.
The book is the tale of Echo McCool, a magical, medieval girl with attitude.
In her own time, Echo escapes death from a poisoned arrow and hides inside a hollow oak tree. She lies dormant for hundreds of years, until the present day when she is awakened by Jason Fleeting, a 12-year-old runaway from a children’s home. Together, they set out to solve the murder of Jason’s mother and to rescue his kidnapped sister.
Roger’s work is heavily influenced by 1970s TV writer Richard Carpenter, who created series including Catweazle and Dick Turpin.
After some success in England when he was first published in January, Roger’s Amazon rating in America started to go up.
More recently, the book was rated in the top 10 best books of 2011 by the users of American site goodreads.com.
“That was quite unexpected,” Roger said. “I thought it would start in my own back yard and spread out, but it’s done the opposite and really taken off in America.”
Roger said being made redundant from a large law firm in Hull was the push he needed to finish half-written manuscripts he was storing under his spare bed.
“Trying to write on a weekend and evening takes its toll. Being made redundant gave me the chance to write full-time, which is so much better for me,” he said.
Roger first became interested in writing after meeting a children’s author whilst on holiday as a child in the Yorkshire Dales.
“I thought ‘that’s the life for me’,” he said.
However, Roger turned to law, although he did complete some writing work during this time and sent it off to various publishers.
“It’s very difficult in this country to get taken on by the big guys, so many people aspire to do it,” he said.
Roger eventually had success with Echo McCool, Outlaw Through Time, seeing the book picked up by Grosvenor House Publishing, a small company based in North Yorkshire.
He is now working on the sequel to Echo McCool, Outlaw Through Time and also plans to write a short novel.