An author in his own write

5:36pm Sunday 25th January 2009

ENGLISH teacher Nik Jones is celebrating becoming a author with the publication of his first novel.

Mr Jones, 26, who lives in Consett, County Durham, was one of the winners of the new talent competition run by the Newcastle-based independent publisher Tonto Books.

As a result of his win, his manuscript benefited from some analysis and advice from an established writer and now the result, 9987, has been published by Tonto.

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Mr Jones, who teaches at Wolsingham Comprehensive School in Weardale, had hawked his manuscript around 20 agents but failed to get any interest.

After winning the competition he got some advice from Caroline Smailes, a writer from Newcastle now based in Liverpool, and made some changes, including altering his original choice of title.

The book is described as a "jagged, tragic crime story’’ about a man who works in a DVD rental shop who becomes obsessed with a female customer.

"I started it in the last year of university and it took three years to complete. I sent the manuscript to more than 20 agents and was either rejected or hard nothing more.

"When I saw the Tonto competition I thought it was worth a shot - and it was. I am chuffed to bits.

"Seeing the book on the shelf is pretty special,’’ aid Mr Jones , who did a Creative Writing degree at Bath Spa University.

He is now working on his second opus, a detective thriller set in Consett.

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The book costs £7.99 and is available from Tonto at the website www.tontobooks.com at Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk) and at bookshops.

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