A LIFE-CHANGING event has helped a Portsmouth-born author go to the top of the Hong Kong bestsellers list.
Paul Letters, 41, launched his first novel A Chance Kill earlier this year to finally pursue his dream to write.
Paul said: ‘It is a good feeling to get it to the top of the charts.
‘We have been pushing the book a lot over here so it is great to see its success.’
After becoming disabled due to an injury in his mid-thirties, Paul was spurred on to start writing the book.
‘One night I couldn’t sleep so I just started writing and got a lot of it down,’ said Paul.
‘I continued because I had a lot of spare time on my hands as I wasn’t teaching full-time or playing football.
‘I thought “you only live once” so decided to finally get down to writing the book.’
The novel is an old-fashioned love story with elements of thriller based upon real events, beginning with Paul’s Polish grandmother’s life on the run from the Nazis as a teenager.
‘I grew up with the story of my grandmother’s tale during the Second World War,’ he said.
‘Granny Sabina is known as Dyta in the novel. Since her escape she has lived most of her life on the Isle of Wight – and she’s still there now.’
‘My parents are proud and pleased that the story is out there.’
Paul has incorporated the strains of coping with disability which is one sub-theme of the best-selling novel.
RAF Tangmere also features throughout the story.
Originally from the city, the Portsmouth FC fan moved to Hong Kong in 2001 after meeting his wife but often comes back to watch his beloved team play.
His dedication to the club saw him fly back for the weekend in 2008 to watch Pompey win the FA Cup.
However, his normal visits revolve around seeing his family.
On a recent trip Paul recalls more that his grandmother told him about her escape from the Nazis.
He said: ‘She told me how after she escaped from Poland to France, after the war started, she raced down France one step ahead of the German army.
‘She made it on to the last boat from Bordeaux and after the steamship pulled away, she looked back to see the Germans set up their big guns on the clifftops. Shells then exploded in the water all around the ship, but they made it.’
A Chance Kill is available online and in book shops over here and is the first of a trilogy.