Published: 00:01, 17 February 2019
Book-keeper Ned Reardon is on a roll.
After waiting 10 years and suffering 13 rejections before his first book was published he is launching his second within six months.
The Sheppey-born 60-year-old published Blackberry Joe, a heart-warming tale about a 10-year-old orphaned boy and reclusive gypsy living on Sittingbourne marshes, in September.
His second novel, Bay of Dreams, will be published next month.
He said: “Unlike Blackberry Bill, which was a 10-year project, this has only taken a couple of years to put together.”
He got the idea while on holiday with his wife Judy in Malcesine, Lake Garda, a picturesque beauty spot in northern Italy, in 2015.
Ned, from Hinde Close, Milton Regis, said: “Fortunately, my publisher took an instant liking to it. I think I’m getting the hang of this writing lark now.”
The new book is a psychological thriller set on the shores of Lake Garda.
Grandfather Ned, who is also a keen rambler, said: “It has a distinctive Italian flavour with lots of twists and turns.
“I enjoyed writing it and hope people like it as much as my first novel.”
"I think I'm getting the hang of this writing lark now" - Ned Reardon
It centres on stressed-out engineer Ralph Ashton who is on holiday with his wife Grace when he witnesses a young man’s suicide.
But when the facts don’t add up, Ashton sets out to investigate the death himself and discovers it might be linked to his own dark past.
His friend Dave Glover, from Kemsley, said: “Again, I am impressed with Ned’s story-writing abilities.”
This time the pair believe they have overcome teething troubles which dogged Blackberry Bill.
Dave said: “WHSmith in Sittingbourne has agreed to stock both books from March 1 so the disappointment of having to wait for the book to be delivered has been ironed out.
“Those who wish to buy online can still do so. But there’s nothing like having the book in your hands on the day of publication.”
The Old Post Office in Milton High Street will also stock the book.
Bay of Dreams, published by The Conrad Press on March 1, is £9.99.