A Mansfield man who moved away to work on the London Underground has published his first novel.
Sarpreet Birk left Mansfield at the age of 18 in 2001 and landed a job as a station assistant which inspired his novel for children ‘Jeffrey Salty and the Fare Evader’ which has just been published by Book Guild Publishing.
Sarpreet studied creative writing at university and then reviewed films for magazines and worked as a toy shop manager.
Sarpreet said: “Since a young age, I realised I had a talent for creating stories, but it was only in the sixth form that I realised I had a fondness for writing fiction. A friend and I even had a script considered at the BBC when we were 17.”
An incident involving a customer who refused to pay for his journey inspired the title character: “A warm, kind-hearted Northern man exiled in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, with outstandingly large feet. Jeffrey Salty loves his job as a station assistant on the London Underground - helping passengers is what he loves doing most of all. But then news comes in that someone’s dodging his fares and it’s up to the London Underground staff to catch him. And that’s when the big-hearted little man from ‘up North’ puts his gigantic feet in it where no one could have guessed!”
“I wrote the story in a couple of months, and then spent the next four years trying to find a publisher,” explained Sarpreet. “It was revised and re-worked at least 40 times.”
It will be published on 25th September. Visit www.bookguild.co.uk for more.