A former regional press sub-editor who moved to Canada has become an author with the launch of his first e-book.
Andrew Melvin, who worked as journalist for Media Wales, has written The Policeman of Secrets, which is a science fiction novel in the steampunk sub-genre, telling the tale of a life-or-death struggle to save millions of people.
He started out in journalism at the Barry & District News before joining the South Wales Echo, where he later became a senior designer and sub-editor for Trinity Mirror’s Media Wales titles, which also include the Western Mail and Wales on Sunday.
Andrew wrote the e-book over four years which was interrupted when he left the regional press in 2009 to emigrate to Ottawa in Canada – where he is now an editor at the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.
It tells the tale of Count Balthazar, a roguish gentleman adventurer who fights to save the population of Queen Victoria’s empire after a secret society takes control of countless minds using subliminal messages.
Andrew said: “It took around four years to write, on and off, owing to the move abroad and all that involved, but I was determined to finish it.
“I studied English and history at the University of Wales, and steampunk – which generally centres on an alternate version of the nineteenth century – appealed to me because it enables authors to give history a spin using modern, anachronistic machines like engines and airships.
“I thought I had an interesting idea for a story, this rather colourful nobleman taking on an evil conspiracy, and I wanted other people to read it.
“Of course I dream of it selling in huge quantities – who doesn’t? But what matters most is the thought that a reader might enjoy something I created from my imagination, rather than something factual I put together in a newspaper.”
Andrew is now writing his second novel, which is an epic fantasy.
He added: “I have no clue where my story ideas are coming from; some scenes in The Policeman of Secrets surprised even me, and I wrote them! However, as long as the ideas keep coming, I’ll keep writing.”
The e-book is available from Amazon.