Many a budding writer has dreamed of having a novel published, but for ex-Fleetwood man Luke Brown the dream has come true.
Not only that, but Luke’s book, My Biggest Lie, has been praised by such eminent reviewers as The Guardian newspaper and Booker Prize-winning author, DBC Pierre.
Luke’s message to would-be novelists is to keep persevering, because his first two literary efforts were given the cold shoulder by publishers.
One of those novels was set in Fleetwood, but it didn’t seem to strike a chord.
Luke, 34, who lives in London with his girlfriend, was not bitter about those knock backs, as he has plenty of experience from the other side – he works for a publisher himself.
And with the help of an agent, he struck gold and his book finally went on sale last month.
A former Cardinal Allen Catholic High School pupil, Luke said: “It was a case of third time lucky.
“At the time I was working for a small but successful publishing house in Birmingham, Tindal Street Press, and I know what pressures publishers are under to make those tough decisions, based on whether a new book will sell.
“I was never tempted to get my book published by Tindal Street, I wanted it to get through on its own merits. “When I found out Canongate in Edinburgh had accepted it, It was a brilliant moment. And to get those kind of reviews is a major bonus.”
After leaving Blackpool Sixth Form College, Luke went to university in Birmingham and spent 15 years there, before moving on to London last year.
He currently works as a freelance editor for book publishers.
Luke admits there are some autobiographical elements to his novel, and says: “I thought about what it would be like if I were more hedonistic, had no conscience and had no common sense!”
My Biggest Lie is about an editor, from the North, Liam, who is working in London as a publisher. Liam has just been ditched by his girlfriend Sarah and has also caused the death of a novelist pal and mentor whom he relied on financially. With options sinking fast, Liam escapes to Buenos Aires to try and write his great novel and win Sarah back.
Along the way, he meets with a series of comic mishaps, but aside from his sharp and very funny observations, Luke’s book has been praised for its depth, intelligence and warmth.
Luke added: “I am already on with my next book but I don’t think I am the stage where I can rely on it for a living. I’ve no idea yet how the book is selling.”
He still visits Fleetwood, where his teacher mum, Jackie Brown, lives.
“It’s nice to come back, Fleetwood’s still my home town,” he added.