Ex-Manton miner writes debut novel at age of 70

The cover of David Simpson's debut book, 'Claire's Angel'.
The cover of David Simpson's debut book, 'Claire's Angel'.

A former miner at Manton Colliery is to celebrate his 70th birthday next week by releasing his debut novel.

David Simpson, who lives in Woodsetts, says he is “absolutely euphoric” about the launch of fantasy thriller, ‘Claire’s Angel’.

“It is lovely to be able to see my dream come true,” said David, who spent 22 years at the pit before it closed in 1994.

“I have always wanted to see my name in print. I am over the moon.

“How successful it will be, we will have to wait and see. It will either take off or it won’t.”

Born and bred in Worksop, David has always been interested in writing, particularly poetry, since his days at Redlands School in the town.

But curiously, the idea behind the book stemmed from a dream he had one night.

“It sounds unbelievable, but I dreamt the beginning of the story,” he said.

“My wife, Rita, encouraged me to write it down, so I did, and it just carried on from there. It took me two years to complete, but the book literally wrote itself.

“The dream triggered it, and my wife inspired me to write it. After that, it was just a case of finding a publisher.”

That didn’t prove too difficult because the long-standing, independent publisher Arthur H Stockwell, based in Ilfracombe, Devon, took an immediate interest.

Now, David can’t wait for the publication date of next Friday, which comes just three days after he turns 70.

A paperback spanning 336 pages and costing £13.95, the book will be available in all good booskhops, including WHSmith in Worksop, and online, through Amazon, Waterstones or the publishers.

So what is the book all about? David himself is considered to be a family man. He has been married to his second wife Rita, 78, for 27 years, has two daughters, Dawn and Leslie, who live in Carlton-in-Lindrick, and four grandchildren. But he warns that his first novel is very much “for the adult market”.

It revolves around Luke Henderson, seller of old and rare books in York, who is not what he seems. The bookshop is just a front for his activities as part human, part angel.

His mission is to protect the weak, often dealing out swift vengeance against doers of evil and meting out his own version of bloody justice.

However, the more he lives among humans, the more his supernatural powers come into conflict with his angel superiors, who fear he is exceeding his limitations. And things get even more complicated when he falls in love with Claire, a young nightclub worker. For she is locked in her own terrifying power struggle between the club’s co-owners.

Has that tickled your fancy enough to want to know what happens next? If so, you will have to join the queue to buy the book and, in turn, make veteran author David Simpson an even more contended man in his retirement than he is now.