As anyone who glances from time to time at this column knows, I’m mad about books.
Writers and writing have played a huge part in my life and I’m always delighted to meet new authors and read new work.
When the writer is local and his first book was created out of adversity that not many of us have to face, or would wish to, the interest and admiration is 10-fold.
I met Andrew Langley for the first time a few weeks ago when his wife, Ruth, introduced us. They live in Doncaster with their son.
Listening to his story it is clear this talented man could be the hero of his own novel.
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis aged 29, after suddenly going blind in one eye, Andrew knew ultimately he would have to change the way he lived and his profession.
As a busy photo-journalist travelling the world capturing stunning wildlife and covering stories from Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, it was soon clear that the issue of carrying the equipment would be the first of many hurdles.
It’s not as if Andrew didn’t have choices though – he has a degree in physics and astro-physics, an MBA and is a member of The Magic Circle. A Renaissance man if ever there was one!
Twenty years on, with declining health, a more sedentary occupation has beckoned. Luckily for his readers, who are eagerly awaiting the launch of his second novel in October, he has chosen to write books.
Andrew’s interest in the supernatural and his skills as a magician inspired the creation of Nathen Turner, leading man in his book Mirror on the Soul.
Nathen fakes séances – he’s a supernatural swindler. Until the day someone from the other side talks back. This is a pivotal moment in a story that takes us from Las Vegas to…Whitby.
There’ll be more from Nathen – this time he’ll be based in the Scottish Highlands – in the autumn.
MS Awareness started on Monday and this year aims to highlight the challenges faced delivering the right care at the right time to the 100,000 people who have this incurable disease that affects the central nervous system.
Andrew, when he could still walk a fair distance, trekked along the Great Wall of China in 2007, raising thousands for the MS Trust.
With rave reviews both here in and in America for his first book Andrew has written a new chapter for himself in his life – as he says himself, just because one part of your life is over it doesn’t mean everything has to stop.
In the ’70s I used to have a poster on my bedroom wall, which said: ‘If life gives you lemons, make lemonade’.Andrew Langley has done just that.
You can find out more about Andrew and his work at Andrew Langley