John celebrates his first published novel at 75

John Bromley, Cuckfield

John Bromley, Cuckfield

Cuckfield resident and writer John Bromley has just had his first novel published at the age of 75.

His new book ‘The Adventures of Arthur Mulrooney’ is a fictional tale based in a small fishing community in South Devon in the years after the Second World War.

The title character has a secretive past and is obsessed with protecting his anonymity, which then arouses suspicion from the other villagers.

John explains: “I started writing this book about ten years ago. It emanated from a name that just popped into my head. My main inspiration behind the book is really about injustice and that sometimes in life the things that happen shouldn’t happen at all.”

His interest in writing started as a young boy and over the course of his life he has written nine books.

“I used to write and do nothing with them. Once or twice I have made attempts to get some of my other novels published but just gave up as I thought well if they haven’t accepted them this time then they probably never would. So they’ve just been gathering dust.”

John would like to see more of his books published one day. “I have a book in the making that I wrote about 20 years ago. It’s been rewritten about three or four times. It has been to the publishers who offered me a contract a while ago so we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.”

John is originally from London and moved to Cuckfield a number of years ago to be closer to his family. “We’ve been here now for almost 11 years. We’ve made a good few friends. It’s a lovely village and we’re very happy to be part of it.”

To purchase a copy of John’s new book please visit https://amzn.to/2KeAmVj

Village People - Rosie Longhurst

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By David Tingley

All sorts of books are written for all sorts of reasons. Rosie Longhurst (pictured) has been writing for sixteen years in order to keep alive the memories of her much-loved homeland; the Seychelles. 

Rosie, who lives and works in Cuckfield as the estate manager at a retirement development, was born on the northern coast of Mahe Island in the picturesque seaside village of Beau-Vallon. As part of a large family in a small community Rosie knew something of growing up where “you couldn’t get away with much”! Everyone knew everyone else and there was a strict sense of church community with both Catholic and Anglican believers in the village. 

When she left school Rosie trained and worked as a nurse, working in the local hospital. She also had a long career in the hotel industry and ran her own ladies-wear business. 

However, she moved to the UK in 1995 and found that she missed the Seychelles very much, and not just for the climate and sandy beaches! As a therapeutic method to help her get over her homesickness, Rosie began researching the history of the islands and writing about it in her own time. 

Through her research she discovered so much about the republic’s past that she couldn’t stop writing more and more about it. She read not only historical accounts but also personal stories of what life was like in the Seychelles many years before she’d known life there. It was with this knowledge that she began to compile ideas for a novel about seven years ago. While her husband, Stan Longhurst, was out on Sunday afternoons playing golf, she could easily spend four or five hours focused on her writing. Which is exactly what she did. 

‘Echoes from the Oasis’ is Rosie’s first novel but, such is the unusual subject matter, that a US publisher, Raider, soon offered her a contract. 

The story features the lead character, Anna Savy, growing up on the islands and opens on her 16th birthday in 1912. Over one hundred years earlier the Franco-British war raged as two empires sought to take control of the international trade route. What was left was an emerging small nation being forged from its French descendants, African slave roots and the new British rulers. But life was a struggle for many and Anna, a young nurse, experiences the joys and pains of the people at the time. None more so than the arrival of the First World War and the devastating consequences that would have on Anna’s young life. 

The book also touches on the sensitive issues of the changing roles of women in those days, the conflict of the British and Irish working together in the hospital and, of course, forbidden love for the 18 year old. 

“I’ve had a ball writing it,” Rosie explains. “The historical aspects of the island are fascinating and so I would go off and investigate it, and then work it into the storyline.” One such concept was the vital interpreter roles that Seychellois men undertook in Europe during WWI. 

Above all though, the book is an extraordinary way for one woman to not lose touch with ‘home’. Rosie dedicates the book, which was published last month, to her parents. A website, www.seychelles-author-in-cuckfield.com, has ongoing news about this story and the sequel to come. ‘Echoes from the Oasis’ is penned under her maiden name A.R. Tirant and is available from Waterstones in Haywards Heath as well as other book retailers. Twenty percent of profits from the sale of the novel is to be donated to charities in UK and Seychelles.