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Naked ambition to write a best seller; Builder turned writer Gary Davison is set to prove his success was no flash in the pan, literally, as Mike Kelly found out.

Byline: Gary Davison

ACOUPLE of years back, writer Gary Davison was looking for inspiration for a new book.

Being an avid football fan he was reading the sports pages of his newspaper which, despite news of David Beckham's exploits at his then club Real Madrid and dramatic heavyweight title fights, was dominated by the image of a streaker.

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The thought of an ordinary bloke supplanting the sports stars of the world simply by getting his kit off created the germ on an idea which has become his latest book, Streakers.

Throw in some local personalities like DJs Alan Robson and Tony Horne (who thankfully remain fully clothed), the fact the climax takes place at St James's Park where Newcastle United, including Alan Shearer with his football kit on, face Manchester United in the Premier League, and you've got a comedy with enough wishful thinking to entertain most punters.

It's the second book in a three-book deal with London publishing company PaperBook that Gary secured a couple of years back. His first, Fat Tuesday, was a dark, fastpaced thriller.

Gary, 37, said: "This is different and not as dark. If I had my way, Streakers would have been the one I had published, as I think it'll be the best one I'll write."

At 156 pages it is quite short for a book these days. "It's like a film in a way, when I move from one scene to the other, keeping all the best bits in," explained Gary.

It centres on two very different brothers - Sam, a hard worker who believes in graft to get on in life and Alex, his layabout brother, much taken by idle introspection.

For some reason Sam 'snaps' and he streaks wearing just a gimp mask at an FA Cup match between Faccome FC (based on Whitley Bay) and Darlington.

He manages to elude the police, so retaining his anonymity and the 'Faccome Flasher' is born.

Gary said: "My streaker does something no other streaker has done and gets away with it."

It causes a media storm, discussed on DJ Robson's Night Owls show and Horne's Metro Radio breakfast show, and with the authorities determined to arrest the culprit, Alex, who quickly works out the identity of the streaker as his sibling, decides to help Sam stage one last streak at a top match, for charity.

And it's not just at any old match - but a Premier League clash between Manchester United and Newcastle United in Shearer's last game for the Toon. "I'm really pleased the publishers let me get away with what I've got away with," said Gary.

He was born in Wallsend, North Tyneside, moved to Fenham then West Denton in Newcastle as a child, attending St Cuthbert's School, leaving at 17 with seven GCSEs.

He worked as a trainee land surveyor and trainee site manager before getting restless and leaving England to go backpacking with his then girlfriend and now wife Karen, travelling through Asia and Australia doing various jobs including fruit picking and packing electrical goods.

Gary returned to the UK as a civil engineer and quantity surveyor before the couple decided to go off on their travels again.

In 2000, on their way back from the US, he gave up smoking and took up writing. "I've always enjoyed telling stories and the creativity involved," said Gary.

After various rejections, he clinched his three book deal. He is his own biggest critic while wife Karen, 36 - a big reader herself - tells him straight about the quality of his work.

"If it's rubbish she says so," explained Gary.

All however are delighted with the way Streakers has turned out.

Even as Streakers was being published he wrote another book about a 24-year-old man at the crossroads of his life after losing his job. He has a breakdown on Christmas Eve and rails against life.

Gary, who lives in Westerhope, Newcastle, with Karen and their daughter Tara aged three, said: "It took about four weeks to write and I sent it to my editor who said it was the best thing I've written."

No gimp masks are involved here and by the sound of it there aren't many laughs. Strangely, he is thinking about having it published under a pseudonym because it deviates so strikingly from the content of Streakers and he doesn't want to confuse his readers.

But that's for the future and at the moment he is dividing his time between writing and his civil engineering company, Davison Construction.

He said: "I need to work to pay the bills but that might change if that pounds 2m film deal was to come through."

Gary will be at Waterstone's in Newcastle for a book signing session on Saturday between 12 noon and 2pm.I'm really pleased the publishers let me get away with what I've got away with.

CAPTION(S):

IN PRINT Gary Davison, from Westerhope, who will be in Waterstones on Saturday for a book signing session. INSPIRED Gary gets to work on his latest novel. WORK OF ART The cover of Gary's book Streakers. NEW RELEASE Newcastle electro-indie band Viva City.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 23, 2009
Words:852
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