Polegate author’s lasting legacy in novel

John Dyson
John Dyson

An author and former journalist who died in June has left a lasting legacy in the form of his last novel which is due to be published next year.

John Dyson, 77, from Polegate, was a former journalist who wrote 60 western novels.

After a decade living with prostate cancer, he was found at Beachy Head, after a period of rapidly declining health. He died on June 14 this year.

Mr Dyson, spent 25 years as a reporter and 20 years as a gardener before retiring. He looked after Lord Healey’s Alfriston garden and also ran the gardens at Deans Place Hotel.

He started writing westerns in 1990 and shortly before he died submitted a letter to the Express to review his book.

His letter which had been sent to our former office in Lewes was forwarded to us this week.

It was his desire that the paper publish a feature about his last novel - Bad Night At Crazy Bull, which is due to be published in February 2015.

His 60th novel is to be published by Robert Hale and is about a young rancher who wakes up to find he is married to a prostitute which has explosive results.

Speaking before he died, Mr Dyson said he had been surprised to see a flattering review on the internet from a South African about one of his other books, which he wrote under one of his four pseudonyms.

He also had three novels put into ebooks.

He wrote to the Express: “Like 50 per cent of the population I am glad to say I am computer-illiterate.

“How fans of my work from Mexico, South America, Malaya and the island of Guam have accessed my books I have no idea.

“There’s no cash in it for me.

“But I am just glad to hear they seem to enjoy them.”

Mr Dyson was a journalist locally, in London, Cornwall and Devon for 25 years.

He became a gardener but began writing Westerns 20 years ago.

He has set them in all the Western states, Alaska and Mexico digging out odd facts from old tomes.

His last book put out by Hales was Rebel Raiders.

It is about law men pursuing a gang of bank robbers across Indian territory and contains his fast action mix of humour, violence, love lust and double cross.

“It will be my last as my health has deteriorated.” he said. “Guess I’ll be heading for the last round-up soon.”

Visit http://www.halebooks.com/