A regular sight on the journey home is an elderly gentleman, rather dapper in appearance with a tweed cap and jacket. He does not have either a pre-determined joining place or departure point. I have encountered him, already on the bus at my departure point, at that particular bus station or joining from many of the other stops or at the places I change bus waiting with me for the link. He exits on an equally random basis but always leaves the bus before I do. As such the length of our conversations is never set.
During these encounters he noticed I was often reading a book and he asked about the plot and style. He is less than impressed with my preference for fantasy fiction, light historical romances and the occasional paranormal volume. Recommending a grittier more locally inspired read he told me about his first book, a tale of two brothers. One a bad lot and the other a nice chap with a nice wife. He described it as a grim tale with sorrow and a romantic twist at the end. He was obviously very emotionally involved with his characters as just telling me the outline brought a tear to his eye. In his attempt to give me a feel for his work he compared his semi historical style with that of Catherine Cookson, whilst advising me a copy was available at the local library.
Although there is a certain excitement at the though of reading a book by someone you know the genera my bus acquaintance writes in is not for me. It may be the local equivalent of being unpatriotic but I don't like Catherine Cookson's work. No not even the TV adaptations. Too much gloom, angst and sad goings on before a somewhat happy ending. I like jollier stuff.
My encounters with this literary gentlemen have reduced over the last year or so. The last time we met he told me he had gone on to a second book and has been less in the local area having been visiting with people around the country.
Although sadly the library no longer makes his book available for those of you who would be enticed by a book in this style, the gentleman's nom de plume is Mr Richie Miller. His first book is The Bradbury Connection (published by New Millennium ISBN-13:9781858453545) , his second is the Girl from Ninth Street.(I have not found the reference number for that one). I understand they were privately published but Waterstones did sell some of his books and there are second hand copies of his first book available via the Internet the locations of which reflect his journeying about the country .