A 70-year-old Burnley author is celebrating the publication of his novel - and he has earned a publishing contract for his next three books.
Fred Duerden’s The Grim Reaper Chronicles consists of six individual fairy tales about the Grim Reaper - a physican embodiment of death.
It is a series of six short stories involving the Grim Reaper from many different parts of the world including Merlin’s cave, the Egyptian pyramids, Atlantis and moreAuthor
“It is a series of six short stories involving the Grim Reaper from many different parts of the world including Merlin’s cave, the Egyptian pyramids, Atlantis and more,” explained Fred.
“It is a fantasy story with a humorous touch.
“I am absolutely delighted not only to get it published but to have a contract for the next three books.
“They will be different but I have to now start putting them together. This is a great opportunity.”
Fred’s book is based on his own experiences as he has had several brushes with the Grim Reaper since he ran away from home at the age of 15 to join an army apprentice scheme.
Fred, from Sedburgh Street, Burnley, was educated at Stoneyholme Junior School and then Barden Secondary but it was in the army that he learnt his trade, welding.
He married Barbara in 1962, had two sons and a fledgling career as a singer.
But when Fred was 25 his world fell apart as a tumour in his right femur meant the removal of the whole leg.
“I then had to start learning to live again and finding a new way to make a living,” he said.
“Barbara proved her love and encouraged me on and, with her help, I was singing again within six months and it was not long before a daughter was added to our family.
“Then, again when everything seemed to be going right, Barbara died from cancer. We had been married for 49 years and 49 weeks.
“I thought this was the end but I began writing which seemed to help. It was therapeutic and that is how this book came to be created.”
Fred is a member of Burnley’s two writing groups - The Pennine Ink Writers and Burnley and District Writers.
The Grim Reaper is available in bookshops and from Amazon.