Veteran Hayfield police detective turned crime writer needs book worms’ help to see his novel published

editorial image

A former police detective of 15 years turned crime writer is asking literary fans to help get his novel published.

James Ellson, 48, has spent the last ten years honing his craft - turning out nearly as many manuscripts and a million words in that time.

However James - who was a detective inspector for Greater Manchester Police before leaving the force behind for a quieter life on his Hayfield smallholding - had no luck getting published.

But now the veteran investigator’s book - a thriller called The Trail about a troubled DCI whose investigation into a missing petty criminal leads him to Nepal and a dark conspiracy - has been accepted by publisher Unbound.

The crowdfunding publisher - which has produced bestsellers Letters of Note and The Good Immigrant - has agreed to put James’ book on the shelves if he can sell 450 copies on pre-order within three months.

James, who is almost halfway to hitting the target after just two weeks, told of his ‘amazement’ at finally closing on his dream.

He said: “I’m on the crest of a wave at the moment - it’s just so mad - it’s an amazing feeling to know I have strangers buying my book.”

James, who changed direction towards crime thrillers after a publisher who turned down his memoir told him he would one day ‘write a great one’, said he writes about what he knows.

He said: “I thought ‘what do I know about? The police and Nepal’.

“The book’s not about mountaineering but I spent a lot of time there climbing and learned a lot about the country - and I had a hard time towards the end of my police career and there’s a lot about that in the book.”

James is offering various options to those who make a cash pledge for a copy of the book when it is published in six months’ time.

A digital copy costs £10, a paperback is £15 or other options include a tour of James’ smallholding or access to his crime-writing advice hotline.

To read more and order your copy visit unbound.com/books/the-trail.