90-year-old Newport man has first book published in USA (From South Wales Argus)

A NINETY-YEAR-OLD Newport man says he can’t believe he has had his first book published in the USA.

Geoff Robinson, who lives in Allt-Yr-Yn, has said he is “thrilled” that his first novel – A Time To Live – has been published.

The book is set in the middle of the Italo-Ethiopian War, where a British man decides to join the Red Cross Humanitarian Ambulance team to do “what he can to help in the war effort”. The story goes on to explore “the darkest days” of the Spanish Civil War.

Mr Robinson, who has lived in Australia, said that he decided to write the book when his late wife became ill.

He said: “I have not always written but have often turned over in my mind situations I have come across during my life – especially during the war – which I thought would make a good tale.

“When my wife became ill I needed to occupy my mind so I decided that I would write.

“I think the pleasure I get out of writing is the fact that the characters and situations can be made to the way one would desire them to be.

“Whereas in real life this isn’t always so, people never are the way one would like them to be in a lot of cases and certainly most situations turn out to be not what one likes.”

He added: “My wife knew that I was writing the book but sadly she didn’t live to see it get published.”

The Newport resident was for many years employed by a large American conglomerate, which took him to various countries and would later give him “a lot of ideas and experience to write about”.

But when the graduate of The University of South Wales discovered that his book proposal had been accepted by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd he “couldn’t believe it”.

He said: “A lot of people who decide to write books have a lot of experience or are trained in the field.

“When I found out that my book had been accepted by an American publisher and would be published, not just here, but in the US, I did shudder because this is my first book. I am thrilled about it, though.”

Mr Robinson said that his book is “fiction based on fact”.

He said: “The book covers a time which seems to be overshadowed by historical events later.

“There were people who actively confronted the totalitarians whereas the impression one gets is that it was an era of total appeasement of the dictators.

“It is my way of bringing illumination and attention to that period. My book is fiction based on fact.”

The 90-year-old hopes that news of his recent book publication will encourage “anyone” who wishes to write a book to do so.

“Not many 90-year-olds manage to get a book published for the first time – let alone in America,” he said.

“I hope news of my work getting published can encourage more people to write stories.”

He added: “People have asked if there will be a sequel.

“There won’t be a sequel to the story, but two of the characters from this book will re-appear in another book I have planned. I just hope people enjoy reading it.”

The hard-covered book costs £16.99 and is available to buy online.

For more information on the book, e-mail mail@austinmacauley.com

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