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Tale of two pigs inspires reporter’s novel

A former daily newspaper reporter has published his first novel inspired by the story of two pigs which escaped from an abattoir.

Nigel Heath, pictured left, has written The Graylings’ Rising which tells the story of a man who wakes up to find that he has become a beef steer about to be carted off for slaughter.

He and his fellow beasts go on the run helped by a buzzard and barn owl who are determined to stage a rising against what they see as the humankind’s exploitation of the Animal Kingdom.

Inspired by the true story of two Tamworth pigs which escaped from an abattoir in 1998, Nigel draws on 17 years working as the Bristol Post’s North Somerset reporter to describe the huge media attention which the plot’s round up operation attracts.

Nigel Heath has published his first novel, The Graylings' Rising

“A lot of the story is about a local reporter chasing a story and trying to keep ahead of the rest of the media pack,” Nigel told HTFP.

“It has everything from the hunt, the police, to the press conferences and I hope the words capture the thrill of the chase from
a reporter’s perspective and the book might prove of light read interest to all those aspiring students on journalism courses around the UK.

“On the other hand I may well be deluding myself and that in reality the dialogue is awful and that if I actually sell more than a
handful of copies then Tamworth pigs might fly.”

The Tamworth Two porkers evaded capture for some days to the delight of a nation of animal lovers many of whom, including the author, would happily tuck into a bacon sandwich.

Nigel said the ‘light read runaway romp’ across the English countryside gently probes and attempts to reconcile this paradox.

“Having spent many years chasing daily deadlines as a district reporter with the then Bristol Evening Post, the media participation
in the hunt for the runaway herd featured in the story simply seemed to write itself,” he added.

“I’m very proud of the book, I really enjoyed the writing process and hope that people read it.”

The book is available on Amazon Kindle Store at £3.08p and a sequel story, The Graylings Reckoning, is planned for publication next Autumn.

The cover illustration is by Clevedon artist, Joan Hudson.