Ipswich cancer survivor signs copies of latest trilogy book at Waterstones
PUBLISHED: 20:00 26 November 2016
An Ipswich father who has twice battled cancer has said the ordeal gave him the motivation to realise a lifelong dream of becoming a published author.
Philip Gould, of Ashton Close, signed copies of the final book of his fantasy adventure trilogy in Waterstones in Ipswich town centre on Saturday. The Whisper of Persia is the final instalment of his The Girl in the Mirror series.
The 42-year-old father-of-three was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma just days after being made redundant in 2003.
After making a full recovery, the dad-of-three suffered an unrelated bout of testicular cancer in 2009.
Now cancer-free, Mr Gould said the ordeal triggered him into action to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming an author.
He said: “Surviving it twice made me value life more. Day by day you get caught up in the norm and you become complacent. You take life for granted.
“So after that, I wanted to do something more with my life. People say that everyone has got a story in them, but it is a lot harder actually doing it.
“But I remember at school, my teachers said I was very good at storytelling. So I threw myself into the deep end. I learnt so much, such as the planning process, and I think I’m a better writer now.”
He recalls how he felt when his first book, The Girl in the Mirror, was published in October 2015.
“It was such a thrill when the book came in the post and I opened it. A euphoric thrill,” he said.
He admitted that he has had to lower his expectations of sales over the last year, but said: “This was never a profit-making venture. If 200 readers are left satisfied and want to come back for me, I am happy.
“Just being a published author has given me a great sense of achievement. I feel fulfilled.
“I have also learnt a lot. I am standing here in Waterstones and no-one recognises me, because I am an unknown author. If it was David Walliams, it would be packed to the rafters.
“And 2% of authors get 97% or 98% of book sales. James Patterson, for example, made $700 million (in the last decade). They get the cream.”
He has plans to publish a horror novella next year and a guide to creative writing. The Whisper of Persia, RRP £10.99, is released on Tuesday.