The Lights In The Wood & Other Stories has been published by JoFra Press and is available from Amazon at £8.99 or for £7.99 from Little Common Post Office.
John, aged 73, said: “I’ve always loved writing and have done so since I was quite young.
“Although I wrote two novels, I never submitted them for publication.
“What I really loved writing were short stories – a complete story in a short space.
“Someone told me about my first book ‘It was great; I could read one story at work every lunch time.’
“Another said ‘I read one story before I settle off to sleep.’ He did assure me that this was not because of the soporific effect of the story!
“I didn’t do very much about my stories, but, a few years ago, I thought they would be worth publishing. The result of this surprised me greatly. The renowned mystery writer Peter Lovesey read the first book and sent me a lovely email saying how good he thought it was.
“His endorsement of The Lights In The Wood is carried on the cover of the current book.
“Since the stories in Girl on the Seventh Floor, the first book, were written in the 70s and, perhaps, reflected the those times, and also were the stories that a young man might write, I thought I would start writing again and, this time, make the stories for a wider audience.”
The Lights in the Wood is a collection of recently written stories: a variety of tales, from mysteries to the supernatural, to romance and humour.
“The stories often blend some – or even all – of these.
“I think it will appeal to a range of people. I hope so!
““Just as you are recovering from a supernatural story or a mystery, you are presented with a light romantic tale (definitely nothing like Mills & Boon I’m afraid!), or one which will make you laugh.
“Writing was something I had always done but I was looking for a more general audience.
“It is curious that, although I hadn’t written for quite a long time, I realised that I had been toying with ideas for new stories – and thinking ‘That incident would make a good tale’.
“A good example is the story of a ghost road on the A21.
“Another is how family members, if they returned to earth having passed away many years ago, would react to seeing us now.
“There are many that are inspired my imaginings – I’m always imagining.
“And I found I would often write the beginning of a story and then go out on a bike ride (I am a very enthusiastic cyclist), And, while I cycled down country lanes, I would mull over that beginning and concoct an ending to the story.
“Often this would be quite different to what I had originally envisaged.
“When you’re on your bike, there are no distractions – apart from lorries etc of course!
“I enjoyed writing the stories immensely and, particularly, when a thought struck me (usually on the bike!) that I could use to make the ending a little more exciting and unexpected.”