Andy’s story shows that you should chase your dream

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A friend of mine has just had his first book published! It came as a bit of a shock to the rest of us as we never knew what he was up to.

The Potted History Of Paulo Seville is the title and it’s a factitious story about Britain’s most loved, unlikely and unlucky celebrity.

I have to say I even laughed out loud at something on the first page, but it’s strange to realise that I know the unexpected author.

Andrew Telling is his name. You may remember him as Handy Andy on my old breakfast show on Power FM.

He and his sidekick Maximum Bob would get up to all sorts of nonsense and daft stunts in the morning, including naked tandem bike riding and many Brainiac-type stunts years before the TV show started. You can see why I was surprised at Andrew’s literary aspiration.

But it’s been a long hard road for him. Many of the big established publishers he contacted showed no interest. Then he got a sniff and a read-through. But he was told the book was too long. Edit after edit was made until the book was ready.

Then, a bombshell. The publishers decided, given the current economic situation, not to take a risk on breaking new authors. They took the safe option and kept with what they knew.

Can you imagine the disappointment? After all that hard work, not only having the creativity and ability to write a book but then get a publisher interested, only to have the rug pulled from under your feet.

The solution came from a smaller, independent publishing house. Maybe it doesn’t have the resources to promote the book in the same way as the bigger companies, but it was a fantastic opportunity to get his book out there.

Sales have been good too, with Amazon selling out of its initial order. With another completely different book in the making, Andrew is also looking at bringing to life the next section of Paulo Seville’s weird and wonderful existence.

I’ve joked with him about going to his first book signing. If you see a tall chap in Fareham Shopping Centre signing books, that’s him!

It’s a heartwarming story for anyone who has a dream. Chase it and never give up.