The first novel written by Darlington author Eric Foster is due to be published on January 28, based on a fictional re-telling of the life of Ireland’s patron saint.
Inspired by a long-standing love of Ireland, Becoming St Patrick has been published by Troubador Publishing and is based on extensive research conducted by Eric over several years.
Eric, a member of Darlington-based Inkerman Writers, (The Inkers), of which I am also a member, said: “I was twenty-one when I fell in love with an Irish lass and we married. I have been fascinated with Ireland’s history and people ever since.
“When I read Thomas Cahill’s book, ‘How the Irish Saved Civilisation’, I was inspired by a section on Patrick, which revealed further and far-reaching activities of Patrick’s that I had never come across in history books. Discovering a whole new avenue about Patrick spurred my desire to tell the saint’s story widely.
“I researched the saint’s history in greater depth, studied fifth century North West Britain, Ireland and Gaul and set about learning the craft of writing, booking myself onto an Arvon Course for beginners and later a more advanced course at Bloomsbury, London, supplemented by attendance of local Darlington writing groups, including Hash, Inkermans and Stop – Write - Hear. The pandemic lockdown gifted me an opportunity to seriously write, which I took with both hands.”
The novel tells how Patricius, an adolescent of the Roman-British ruling class, is snatched from a life of luxury by raiders, bound for a slave-market. A king buys him and Patrick, renamed by his master, eventually makes his way to Western Ireland where he finds God and begins his journey to sainthood.
The paperback version of the book, costing £11.99 (ISBN 978180313), has a publication date of 28th January and can be purchased at www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/historical/becoming-st-patrick or from Blackwells, Hive and many other on-line sources; or in High Street retailers from the 28th January. The ebook is available on Amazon from 10th February.
Books can also be purchased at a pre-publication presentation at St. Anne’s Church Hall, 43 Welbeck Avenue, Darlington, DL1 2DR on Wednesday 25th January, starting 6.30 p.m, or at the official book launch at Tyneside Irish Centre, 43 Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4SG, starting 6.30 p.m. in the Gallowgate Room.
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