WHEN Nigel Blakeburn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease he vowed to put pen to paper to chart his life-story.
But the inspirational ex-geography teacher, 59, well and truly caught the writing bug - and has since published the Robert the Rabbit and Friends book of poetry and an online e-book.
Mr Blakeburn, of Thatto Heath, said: “After I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s I had to retire from my job and find something else to focus my time on. It could have been a very tricky time if writing hadn’t come along.
“I enjoy playing golf - but couldn’t do that all the time - so I decided to join a writing group. And, as an ex schoolteacher, I made sure I always did my homework on time!
“The poetry book took me about 18 months to write and was brought out in November 2010. Although it’s predominantly aimed at children, I like to think it’s perfect for anyone who likes daft poetry - whether your eight or 83!
“After that I started straight away on my new e-book, which is now available online via the Amazon website.”
Mr Blakeburn’s latest “extra-terrestrial” offering - a novel called The Great Lip Reader in the Sky - was inspired purely by his own imagination. In the e-book, the Earth has been invaded by an alien force who not only have the ability to control the weather, but are developing it as a powerful weapon.
When a violent weather event in the north of England causes death and destruction, the Met Office is unable to explain why.
The tale follows the fortunes of a secondary school teacher and his girlfriend, a young golfer and his cousin, a DCI, a school bully and an airline pilot. Mr Blakeburn, a father-of-two and grandfather-of-two who now runs a weekly poetry group at the Millennium Centre for the local Wellbeing Project, added: “I thoroughly enjoyed writing the novel.
“It only took me about nine months to complete - and the feedback so far has been outstanding.
“My next novel, The Train, should be finished by June or July.”