Former journalist publishes novel detailing breakdown of a marriage

  • Newspaper man Stuart Robertson celebrates publishing second novel
  • Fans contact him from around the world
  • Book launch at Waterstones in Manchester

After spending a decade writing for newspapers in the North West and then acting as editor of the Rossendale Free Press, Stuart Robertson finally plucked up the courage to pursue his dream of becoming a novelist. 

His first published novel, Time to Say Goodbye, is about the relationship between a father and a daughter but when the father dies he has to make a decision as a spirit whether to stay or to go.

While  it is common to see positive reviews about a book, Stuart spoke of the readers who contacted him about the effect the book has had one them.

“They’ve contacted me directly to say this book meant something to me. As an author that was the nicest thing I’ve experienced,” Stuart said,who lives in Rossendale.

“Obviously you write books for yourself, but you write primarily for the reader and when you’ve actually got some readers and you know they’re enjoying it, that’s a great feeling.”

Time to Say Goodbye sold 80,000 copies and Stuart recalls one occasion after his novel was released in Japan when he was contacted by a reader.

“I got an email from somebody in Japan saying how much they had enjoyed it,” he said.

“What I find a lot with Time to Say Goodbye, the subject matter is very much about death. Essentially it’s the relationship between father and daughter but the father dies and watches over his daughter.

“A lot of people who have been recently bereaved have said that they found that take on things really helpful. And that’s really nice to hear.”

Stuart’s latest novel, If Ever I Fall, follows three narratives with despair and tragedy bringing them together to try and find a happy ending.

He said: “I just started with this image of this guy at the end of his tether who’s lost all hope.

“Essentially it’s about the breakdown of a marriage based on a trauma from the past.”

Without trying to give too much away at the book, Stuart told me of the three different narratives that interweave and how this trauma brought the characters together.

“It was slightly interesting to write and certainly a bit of a rod from my own back at times but it turned out well, I just felt that was the right way to tell the story,” he said.

“Despite it being a little bit difficult to write at times, I’m really pleased with the way it’s turned out and the feedback so far has been great so far.”

Stuart, who is married with an 11-year-old daughter, is already working on with book number three and he is predicting it will be released on this time next year.

He is celebrating the publication of his new novel  with a book launch on Thursday, 23 February at Waterstones in Deansgate, Manchester at 6.30pm.