From Sardinia to South Yorkshire: Former Doncaster man pens first book

Author Bryan Docker
Author Bryan Docker

A former Doncaster resident has penned a book with strong connections to South Yorkshire.

Bryan Docker's novel Secrets From Sardinia is his first book, and takes readers from Italy, via the United States, to the coalmines surrounding Sheffield in 1943

The book is a 'powerful romantic thriller', according to Mr Docker, with 'two or three shades of grey'.

The former Doncaster man, whose pen name is AJ Tarn, had a long-held ambition to write a novel.

It started as a biography, but Mr Docker abandoned that concept, favouring fiction when he became too emotional to tell his life story.

Both of Mr Docker's parents died before he moved to Doncaster.

His mother had a haemorrhage in hospital, and his father perished in a coal mine.

"I got three chapters in and got so emotional," Mr Docker said.

He said writing the book brought back many happy memories of living in South Yorkshire.

"Lots of nostalgia," he said.

Mr Docker worked at Rockware Glass and International Harvester, before running a Cantley off-licence.

He then became a driving instructor at Autopass School of Motoring, where he worked from 1986-1996.

He took trips to the area in researching for the book, but much of Mr Docker's inspiration came from while he was living in Doncaster.

He estimated the book was '75 per cent' set in the Sheffield and Peak District area.

He said the book had its fair share of tragedy.

"I know from being a coal miner's son that there were lots of tragedies in the mines of South Yorkshire," he said.

"There's lots of tragedy and lots of tear-jerking."

The 65-year-old Mr Docker now lives in Bournemouth

Mr Docker is Sheffield born, and lived in Aston and Woodhouse before moving to Doncaster.

He credited wife Joy for her help in getting the book published. She edited the book.

"She has helped me a lot with the book," Mr Docker said of his wife.

"She reads much more avidly than I do."

His first published work was a story which appeared in the Yorkshire Post about a pupil at his driving school who went to London to beg for a day.

"I've always had a passion to write," he said.

He said he left the story open to sequels, and is already working on his second book.