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Barnsley Author Starts Second Novel After Debut's Success

Friday October 18 2013

The Radio by Jonathan Lee The Radio by Jonathan Lee

A BARNSLEY author who had his first novel published at the age of 39 has started writing its sequel.

Dad-of-three Jonathan Lee, from Pogmoor, had The Radio published on April 22 and has sold over 3,000 copies since.

Having entered The Novel Prize, a competition for unpublished authors, Jonathan finished as a runner-up in the prestigious competition - and beat off more than 2,800 people.

Approached by publishers afterwards, Jonathan then achieved his long-standing dream and had his novel printed.

The Radio centres around the decline of the lovable-yet-hapless George Poppleton, a middle-aged, henpecked father and husband who stumbles across an old transistor radio in his loft.

His obsession with listening to the radio drives him on an unexpected journey, fuelled by the painful memories of the suicide of his only son many years before.

Whilst his only daughter, Sam, and wife, Sheila, plan perhaps the most ill-fated wedding ever conceived, the radio transports George further and further away from reality.

It's a story of what it means to be a family, the perception of loving and being loved, and what it means to be sane.

"It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid," Jonathan said. "I studied A-level English at Barnsley College and I wrote a number of short stories over the years, but I suppose getting a full-time job and providing for my family became paramount and writing took a back seat.

"Five years ago, after my friends became thoroughly bored of me saying that I would ‘one day write a novel’, I made time and began writing properly.

"The Novel Prize gave me the spirit to continue and keep following my dream."

Well on his way to shifting his objective of 5,000 copies of the book in its first year, Jonathan's already well into writing The Page, The Radio's sequel.

"I've written about 60,000 words of The Page," he said. "I'm juggling that with my family, my job at an accountancy firm and also doing talks to people in the community about writing."

The Page, which is set to be finished by June 2014, begins with a tragic car accident, leaving Michael Sewell alone and lost for the first time.

The loss of his wife, Margaret, after thirty years of marriage has left a hole far greater than Michael could have imagined.

Michael must delve into his past and face his future, taking him and his family on a horrifying and tragic journey toward the truth.

In the spirit of The Radio, The Page ends with a twist that no-one sees coming.

For a full list on where Jonathan's speaking, click here.

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