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I'll write, said Fred; FAMILY: Fantasy come true for dad who is finally a published author.

Byline: By Emma Cullwick

AT the age of 59, Birmingham dad Fred Flanagan is celebrating after finally realising his life-long ambition by becoming a published author.

Fred, of Kings Heath, was first inspired to jot down some story ideas of his own after becoming a fan of fantasy authors such as JRR Tolkien, who wrote Lord of the Rings.

Initially, Fred wrote 45,000 words of a story, but decided to boost his skills by doing a creative writing course.

"After the course when I looked back at those early chapters, I saw how far I'd come," said Fred, a warehouse manager at Edwards Buildbase, a builders' merchant in Bordesley Green.

Now Fred has finally completed his first novel, a 40-chapter fantasy book called Masters of Zulm, Book One: Chamber of Masks.

"The story tells how a diminutive race of people, undiscovered for centuries, now faces annihilation from their most feared nemesis - mankind," he said.

"But it is a man that holds the key to their salvation."

And Fred, whose pen name is Frederick C Flanagan, hopes the book will be a hit with fiction lovers.

"You never know how a book will be received but I've had lots of compliments," said Fred, who is married with two grown-up sons.

"My editor and proof reader reckon it would make a good film. I'm open to offers."

And Fred hasn't stopped there. Now that his first book has been published he has gone on to pen 15 chapters of his next book, which will be a sequel to his debut novel.

"Whenever I have spare time at home I sit down at the computer and write a bit more," he said.

"It's been many years since I was at school but I hope I can inspire others to have a go at something that gives them a challenge.

"Making money isn't a priority for me - I wanted to do something that most people can't. If I'd known at the beginning how difficult it would be, from the composition through to finalising text and actually getting it published, I might have been put off.

"Having achieved this has been very important for me."

Fred's book is available priced pounds 19.61 on-line from Trafford Publishing at

Success stories

Other hit Birmingham book authors:

Last month Roger Ellory made it on to the best-seller lists with his novel A Quiet Belief in Angels.

The 42-year-old, who lives in Bordesley Green, was helped to success after his book was chosen to appear on Channel 4's Richard & Judy Book Club, which turns unknowns into best-sellers overnight.

Catherine O'Flynn, former postwoman and shop worker from Hall Green, won the prestigious 2007 Costa First Novel category with What Was Lost.

The book was rejected 15 times before it was finally published.

Clare Morrall, a piano teacher from Quinton, joined a creative writing class more than 20 years ago and went on to pen Astonishing Splashes of Colour.

She was one of the the final six nominated for the Booker prize in 2003.

Michael Richardson, who lives in Rubery, won the Sagittarius Prize in 2001 for his first novel The Pig Bin.


SCI-FI WORLD... Fred Flanagan with his first novel Masters of Zulm.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 6, 2008
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