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Journalist’s book inspired by South Coast weekly days

A former regional press reporter who now works as a journalist in Singapore has had his first novel published.

Nick Macfie, who worked at the Sussex Express then the Cambridge Evening News before moving to work overseas, has based his novel Hadley on his early days in journalism at the Sussex weekly.

It is his first novel in a series of five and the plot centres on a journalist who is employed by a mysterious ‘casting agent’ to help ruin the reputation of an actor tipped to become the next James Bond.

After working at the Sussex Express and Cambridge Evening News, Nick moved to work at the Sydney Sun in 1982 before working in a number of roles in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Beijing and is currently a Reuters journalist in Singapore.

He said: “Some of the book is set in the Fens in a fictional town called Sotobech where Hadley is a reporter on the Sotobech Sentinel. But the source for the anecdotes, if not entirely made up, is the Sussex Express.

“It was a terrific paper to work for, giving me a company car and letting me live in Brighton, even though Brighton wasn’t on our patch.

“I’ve met many reporters and editors over the years, but some of the best were on the Express and were happy to stay there.”

Hadley is published by Hong Kong-based Earnshaw Books.