A WRITER who takes inspiration from people that have crossed his path throughout his working and home life has published his fourth book, with a fifth coming out later this month.

David Ashfield, originally from Shiney Row, County Durham, but now living in Devon, has worked all over the world in the oil and gas industry, as well as previously in the pharmaceuticals industry, and has drawn much of his inspiration from the various characters he has encountered along the way.

He writes under pen-name Davey J Ashfield.

His most recent book in an ode to football fans around the world who are destined to follow the underdogs – despite the heartache.

He said: “The book is called ‘Relentless Misery’, because that’s what my son said to me one time after our team, Sunderland, got relegated one year.

“It summed it up well, but despite all that, we still follow our teams because they give us a lot of joy and good times too.”

His first book, ‘Tin Baths, Hot Summers and Rock & Roll’ is about growing up in the golden era of the 1950s to 1970s in a North East mining town.

He said: “A lot of my stories are from people I’ve worked with or known over the years. Everyone from that era seems to remember the summers that went on forever, the music, their mam’s cooking, and tin baths.

“It was the best days of our lives. The book is a kind of biopic, as it is a bit about me, but mainly about how it was to grow up in that period of time.

“In ‘Tin Baths’, I used some stories from some of my father’s friends too at the working men’s clubs.

“They used to ask me to write their sick notes or check their letters for compensation. They’d say I ‘had my ticket’ because I could write well.

“They told me so many stories and told me to write them down, but I always said I’d remember them – and mostly I did, but I probably should have done it earlier. Many of them will be dead now so will never see that I finished the book.”

Other books are based on his experience of work.

While working for an oil and gas company, based in Singapour, David said he realised the reason that so many projects were years behind schedule was down to the workers enjoying life so much.

He said: “I wrote ‘A Turkey and One More Easter Egg – The Paradise Secret’ based on the characters I met.

“Living in Asia, with drink, golf, women and great weather, there was no way workers wanted to finish a project on time and go home.

“It has its name because one night in a bar I was talking to a man I knew, and asking him about how the job was going – he said great, because it was behind schedule, so he thought he would get a turkey and one more Easter egg out of it.”

“I saw a lot of crazy behaviours and put it in my book – with names changed! It is humourous, like a documentary of what was going on. I thought it would make a very funny sitcom.”

After returning home and working in the south, David soon realised he wanted to come home to the North East to be closer to family and raise his young family.

He said: “My book, ‘Contracting with the Devil’ is about my time in the pharmaceuticals world.

“I was head-hunted by a man with a huge company in the North East, but unknown to me at the time was that he was basically a gangster.

“The book is based on that time and some of the crazy situations I found myself in.”

His third book, ‘Footsteps on the Teign’ is a family-friendly book about the characters of his new home in Devon.

“I live in Teignmouth now and it’s a great place. Lots of great characters and stories, and I wanted to write a story based there. My wife and I support a local charity supporting those with autism.

“The story is about smugglers, and involves a treasure hunt and a mystery to solve. I got lots of local businesses involved to support us and a sea shanty group made a new song for it which was performed during a festival. All the proceeds went to the charity so it was good fun.”

His current book, ‘Relentless Misery’, is a tribute to his 60 years of supporting Sunderland, and he was inspired by a friend following a cancer diagnosis.

He said: “My best friend was diagnosed with cancer. It was when Covid was going on too, so it was a difficult time

“I also needed surgery on my back, so when that happened and I was laid up recovering, I thought that was the perfect time to write it for my friend, and for everyone who loves their team but has to endure all the ups and downs that go with it.

He added: “It’s not about hooliganism but it doesn’t sugar-coat all aspects of the game. It’s about the community of fans, having a good time, and the nostalgia of growing up with the excitement of every game.”

All books are available on Amazon, most retailers and all e-book platforms as well as A Love Supreme.