Porthcawl man (77) publishes two novels

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

By Philip Irwin

in Local People

THERE are plenty of people who talk about ‘writing that novel’ when they retire – and then find it’s not so easy – but David Lewis of Porthcawl has shown what can be done, by publishing two books – at the age of 77!

David retired in 2001 after a lifetime in the construction business, and it was his wife Carol who told him that he should draw on his fund of stories – and put it all in a book.

Carol’s advice eventually hit home, and after enrolling in a writing course, it was in 2006 that he made a start. However, he had two stories in his head – in two different genres – and he could not decide, so he went ahead and wrote both.

There have been plenty of trials and tribulations over the last 10 years, with publishers raising hopes and then the disappointment of a rejection note, but now the two books are out, and are available from Amazon Kindle.

“From Dingle With Love” tells the story of a young Irishman who grows up in an isolated part of the republic, and who then goes to work in England.

The plot interweaves his colourful love life, and his rise in the business world, before taking a sudden twist into thriller territory.

With the second book, entitled “The Omega Conspiracy”, you know you are in the world of international crime, terrorism and Middle Eastern politics right from the start.

Given the Ludlum-esqe, three-word title, you know you are entering a world of heartless killers, revenge, and shadowy forces that are plotting in the background.

David said: “This is an uncompromising tale, and is quite grisly in parts.”

He added that the inspiration for this story had been his own father’s tales of being a 14-year-old cabin boy on a tramp steamer.

The Arab stokers on the boat had their own fund of stories, and both his father and David retained a keen interest in the Arab world.

David was born in Splott, Cardiff and is quite proud that he shares this distinction with the BBC radio and TV journalist, John Humphrys. In fact, David’s sister-in-law worked in the same newspaper office when the BBC presenter was a young reporter.

David’s father, however, made the decision to take his one-year-old son away from Cardiff in 1940. You might think it was to avoid the bombing, but as he chose to relocate to Liverpool, that clearly wasn’t the reason.

David told The GEM:?“I left school with one GCE ­ – in geography – although I did add GCEs in maths and English as part of my training when I joined the construction industry.”

He started as a 16-year-old junior engineer on a power station project, and he was mentored by a rugged Irishman who soon “knocked him into shape”.

That was the start of a career where David worked in many different places.

However, when he met and married Carol, they chose to live in Porthcawl – and have now been here for 53 years.

They have lived in a number of houses within the town, but have never been tempted to leave.

As David progressed in the construction industry, he was able to work at a senior level on projects closer to home.

The road widening on the M4 at the Brynglas Tunnel was one, and he was also involved in the early stages of the construction of the ever-growing Celtic Manor.

A man with a strong work ethic? Most certainly, as is proved by the fact that David has started work on a third novel.

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