Author’s book printed 20 years on

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HOSPITAL store supervisor Les Dickinson takes on a new identity each night.

When he sits down to start writing he becomes the novelist Jack Knight, newly published author of horror thriller Darkness Whispers.

Les, 60, of Dinnington, wrote the book 20 years ago and had almost given up hope of ever seeing it in print.

He said: “I got made redundant in 1991 and took a year out to write the novel but I wasn’t successful in getting it published so I just left it to gather dust.”

“But then I heard about a website where editors were looking for writers so I got in touch and a publisher approached me and I sent her the manuscript.”

Les (pictured) had never thought about writing a book until he left the Army years ago.

“I’d done three years in the Army and when I left I saw someone writing on a typewriter and asked him what he was doing and he said he was writing a story and I thought I would like to do that.”

“With family and one thing and another I didn’t get round to it for a long time and when it failed it put me off for a while.”

Les, who works at Rotherham Hospital, has now joined the online writing group WeBook, where new writers can read each other’s work and give each other help and advice. “It’s really good because you get help with everything from grammar to new ideas,” said Les, who is married and is dad to three children and two step-children.

“I’ve started writing a second book and I have four more planned.”

“I have to sit down every night to write because I don’t have a lot of time to spare so I have to be quite disciplined about it. I can’t just wait until I fancy writing.”

“I get home from work and have my tea and then I have a little power nap before doing an hour’s writing.”

Les described his book as a thriller with a horror twist. The plot centres on a group of old friends who embark on a wild weekend but who are then stalked by an unseen assailant.

He said becoming a published author was a difficult game to get into. “I never really thought I was good enough so it’s great to have achieved it.”

He got his pen name when he was part of a writers’ circle in Sheffield and was writing short stories.

“I called them Stories by Knight and I thought that sounded like a good name, and Jack was my dad’s name,” he said.

Darkness Whispers is published this month by Dopamalovi Books. For more information go to