Author realises his dream as debut novel is published

Robert Croft with his new book, The Redemption of Don Calogero.
Robert Croft with his new book, The Redemption of Don Calogero.

‘There were times when I enjoyed writing it, times when I hated it and times when I ignored it’.

For Robert Croft, the journey towards publishing his first novel hasn’t been straight forward or easy. At one point, he even lost the names of all of the characters!

But, after four years of hard work, he has finally realised his dream – unveiling his debut long story, The Redemption of Don Calogero.

It’s a quirky tale too – a disillusioned pope who absconds, sparking a desperate hunt to find him, initiated by the Vatican’s machiavellian secretary of state, and involving a gay bishop and his policeman partner, the head of one of the most vicious Sicilian mafia families, a group of fanatical recluse hermits and even a TV presenter from the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

Robert, 63, from Alnwick, said: “It’s a totally silly, implausible story about naked ambition, idealism, betrayal, sacifice and ultimate redemption and people who have read it have said that they have been unable to put it down.”

Robert started writing the book while he was staying at the town’s White Swan Hotel, bashing out 5,000 words in three days – although it took him slightly longer than expected to finish it.

He said: “I wanted to see if I could write a novel. It wasn’t easy and I made every single conceivable mistake, but I am happy with the book and I am working on my second.”

The book is available to buy online and Robert will be doing a promotion at Alnwick’s WHSmith on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.