MOUNT Gambier personality Stan Thomson has released his debut novel, following the life of a young Craig Erskine after the Second World War.
Mr Thomson is known within the Limestone Coast for his extensive career as a radio host with more than 30 years experience.
Emigrating to Australia from Scotland in 1958, Mr Thomson wrote the novel influenced in part by his own history.
Titled ‘356: Recall the Truth, Fear the Perception’, the idea for the novel was sparked after a disturbing claim which could have been considered an ‘official secret’ in post-war Britain with Mr Thomson learning about the claim from his own father.
Speaking with The Border Watch, Mr Thomson said the story had “been in his head” for years.
“A lot of people think it was a retirement or a Covid project but it wasn’t,” Mr Thomson said.
“It is something that I have been working on for years and, in the process of writing it, I dabbled with different genres before settling with fiction with a bit of a historical aspect.”
Being his debut novel, Mr Thomson said initially he was not sure where to begin the story and, after receiving feedback from others, he decided to start where he knew best.
“The main character is not based on myself but it gave me an idea as to where to go,” he said.
“The setting came from where I lived after I was born and the house on the cover of the book is actually the house I lived in.”
According to the local author, the story was told from the perspective of 70-year-old Scottish born Australian, Craig Erskine, reflecting on the events.
“At first young Craig learns a lot about his family and his father after the war and just how he goes through life,” Mr Thomson said.
“There is also an Australian aspect to it because there is a character who served in Gallipoli which Craig follows as well.”
Mr Thomson said the final copy was his second attempt at finishing the novel with the first version being “too short”.
“The first version was only the first part of the novel and I don’t think the story classified as a short-story so I kept at it until it was complete,” he said.
“I am looking at putting more books together in the future and a lot of people ask me if I will write about my days working in radio but I really want to do something different.”
Mr Thomson will host a launch event in the coming months after having to cancel twice due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The book is currently available for purchase online and at the local Collins Bookstore.