A DEBUT novel by a North-East author is to be published later this year.

Daniel James, 35, will release The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas in November through independent publishers Dead Ink Books.

He combines fact and fiction to tell the story of a journalist searching for the truth about reclusive artist Ezra Maas who vanished without a trace more than seven years ago.

Mr James, from Newcastle, who spent five years researching and writing the book, said: “What happened to Ezra Maas is one of the biggest mysterious of contemporary art, but no one has been able to write a book about his life until now due to legal issues with his estate.

“Maas first became famous in the 1960s alongside the likes of Andy Warhol but his rejection of celebrity and refusal to be photographed or interviewed meant very little was known about who he really was or where he came from. In many ways, he was the original Banksy and this makes him a very intriguing character.

“In today’s era of post-truth and fake news, it seemed the perfect timing to tell the true story of such a mysterious figure who had such an impact on the art world before he disappeared.”