The paperback version of The Hidden Legacy, Graham Minett’s debut novel, comes out on August 25, the same day as the e-version of his second book, Lie in Wait.
These are exciting times for Pagham-based Graham, a former head of languages at Felpham Community College. After a period as head of sixth-form at the Angmering School, he is now the school’s time-tabler and data analyst.
The novels follow on from Graham’s time as an MA creative writing student at the University of Chichester, a time which gave him three very important things, he says. “The first thing was that they showed me I was not quite as good as I thought I was! I was not the finished product, and they had very nice ways of making it clear that I needed to change what I was doing! Secondly, they made me much more professional,” Graham recalls. In other words, they gave him the confidence to say “I am a writer” without feeling like a poser, rather than simply saying “I am a teacher.”
And thirdly: “The most important thing was that you had to complete various assignments while you were there, and these were workshopped and polished to within an inch of their life. And that gave me a CV, and all of a sudden I was winning competitions.”
On the back of it all, came the debut, released earlier as an e-book and now coming out as a paperback. The Hidden Legacy combines two time lines: “One timeline is in the 1960s: a young boy commits an atrocity in the playground and becomes demonised… In the background, all through the novel, this boy’s background is seeping out into the rest of the novel in the modern day.”
In the modern day, recently divorced and with two young children, Ellen Sutherland is up to her elbows in professional and personal stress. When she’s invited to travel all the way to Cheltenham to hear the content of an old woman’s will, she’s far from convinced the journey will be worthwhile. But when she arrives, the news is astounding. Eudora Nash has left Ellen a beautiful cottage worth an amount of money that could turn her life around. There’s just one problem – Ellen has never even heard of Eudora Nash.
Her curiosity piqued, Ellen and her friend Kate travel to the West Country in search of answers. But they are not the only ones interested in the cottage, and Ellen little imagines how much she has to learn about her past . . .
The Hidden Legacy will be joined as a paperback next February by his second novel Lie in Wait which comes out on Kindle on August 25.
“The book concerns a man called Owen Hall in his late 20s. All through his childhood he had been bullied because he was different. There was an accident at his birth, and he was starved of oxygen. He was very backwards in all his social skills. When he was at school, he was a big fat lad and was picked on by everybody. But the one thing he did have was a gift for numbers, and he allows numbers to rule his life. He is wary of prime numbers, but when he sees multiples of prime numbers, he thinks it is good news...”