Glowing reviews for teacher’s debut novel

GOOD WORK -- Craig Tilstone who has self-published his debut novel, 'Baby One More Time'.
GOOD WORK -- Craig Tilstone who has self-published his debut novel, 'Baby One More Time'.

A teacher from Sutton is living the dream after publishing his first novel, which has attracted rave reviews.

Craig Tilstone (36) has always been interested in writing and has harboured a lifelong ambition to release his own book.

Now ‘Baby One More Time’, the fruits of lengthy labours, is available as an Amazon e-book online. And it has been so well received in reader reviews that he is hoping it might catch the eye of a major publisher.

“An absolutely great read,” says one review. Another says: “Entertaining and well written.”

One reviewer describes Craig’s book as “the perfect antidote to a stressful day’s work”. Another says: “Fantastic storyline! Sophisticated and humorous. A must-read.”

“It has been a huge thrill to read all the positive comments,” said dad Craig, who has two young children with wife Alison.

“I have always written for fun and finally decided to publish my own full-length novel for a wider audience.

“My job is quite demanding and then my youngest son was born, so it took me five years. But I kept chipping away during the school holidays and I am really proud of the end result.”

‘Baby One More Time’, which can be bought for just 99p on Amazon, is the comical tale of a man who, in his dying days, decides to track down seven of his former girlfriends. He spends a day with each in an attempt to make amends for his wrongdoings.

The novel is inspired by the books of Craig’s two favourite authors, Nick Hornby and Mike Gayle, and is written in the style of their work.

“The subject just popped into my head, and I loved writing it,” added Craig, who teaches year-five and year-six pupils at the Flying High Academy in Ladybrook, having previously worked for 11 years at Mapplewells Primary School in Sutton.

“I have now started my second book. It is my dream to see my work in paperback. I have written to a lot of agents, and I’m hoping for my big break.”