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Teacher turned journalist pens first book

A regional journalist who started out as a primary school teacher has seen his first book published.

Geraint Thomas, 45, a reporter at the South Wales Evening Post, wrote Swansea Spy after taking time out from his career to study an MA in creative writing at Swansea University.

The inspiration for the book came from his time as a teacher when he taught pupils about the damage the Blitz caused to the town and its people during the Second World War.

Said Geraint: “Swansea was one of the most heavily bombed towns. The Germans came three nights is a row and 33,000 bombs were dropped. The town centre was wiped out and the docks were the main target.

“That period has always fascinated me and the kids loved hearing about it.

“And we were lucky in that some of the grandparents who remembered the Three Nights Blitz used to come in and talk about it. I always thought what an amazing setting for a story.”

The book is written through the eyes of a young boy during the war, with the aim of being something that schoolchildren and adults can enjoy.

One of the characters in the book is named after a Swansea war hero who Geraint had interviewed for the paper.

It took him six months to write and he finished it as part of his dissertation.

Said Geraint: “The reason I finished it was because I did a masters in creative writing for a year. I’d had the idea for a number of years but it has taken me five years to get into print.”

At the moment 1,000 copies have been published by Welsh interest publisher Carreg Gwalch, who sent an acceptance letter two years after receiving the first chapters of the book.

He hopes more will follow as he has had great feedback from colleagues and children and intends to send it to larger publishing houses in the UK.

Geraint, who left teaching in 2000 and has been a reporter at the South Wales Post for around ten years, said: “I was 34 when I decided I wanted to be a writer.

“The reason I did a masters was because I interviewed the author Stevie Davies, she had a new book out and we got chatting and she offered me a place on the MA.”

This is his first novel but he has previously had plays he has written performed in local theatres, including a comedy called Ruthless.

He is currently writing another comedy based on an unscrupulous journalist.

Swansea Spy is available from Amazon.