FORMER soldier and retired laboratory technician David James has discovered that persistence pays off.
The 62-year-old from Copnor has spent almost his entire adult life attempting to become a published author.
Despite decades of rejection, David has finally seen one of his sci-fi stories go into print.
The Rassendyll, which is described as a science-fiction Casablanca set on a far off planet, has been released by PublishNation.
David, from Tokio Road, said: ‘A couple of years after leaving university, around 1978, I decided that because no one was writing exactly the kind of the storyline I wanted to read, and none of the heroes were exactly how I would have liked them to be, I would attempt to write such stories myself.
‘And so it began... the cycle of writing my sci-fi and fantasy thrillers, sending typed manuscripts to publishers and thence receiving the inevitable rejection slips.
‘Before the advent of the millennium, about 20 years after I had begun writing, and after I had ingloriously failed to get published, I decided that I would cease all further attempts to do so.
‘Nonetheless, I never stopped writing.
‘Instead, after writing my stories, I would print them off, file them and then store them in a box or cupboard somewhere.’
But after retiring from his laboratory job, David found he had more time on his hands so he set about looking out his old stories, revisiting them and resending them to publishers.
He said he was ‘delighted’ when PublishNation agreed to publish The Rassendyll – a gripping philosophical thriller set in a far-off future where mankind has colonised other planets in the galaxy.
David, who is also a member of the Mensa Creative Writers Group, added: ‘The Rassendyll is a murder which is part of a conspiracy to usurp power over all the colonised planets.
‘The original germ of an idea was to create something along the lines of the film Casablanca but set in a future, with a science fictional context.
‘But the idea has mutated considerably as the story was written.’
The Rassendyll is available to buy for £6.99 from amazon.co.uk