Focusing on a new career
Fomer press photographer ROB LOCK is starting a new chapter as a
novelist, more than 40 years after he started writing his first book
As a photographer on the local newspaper, Rob Lock has been a familiar face on the Fylde Coast for years. And he has now used his experiences covering news stories, community events and sporting fixtures for the Blackpool Gazette to help him fulfil his lifelong dream of becoming a novelist.
Many of the characters he met – both in the newsroom and while out on jobs – have fed into the book which came out towards the end of last year. And while Blackpool is not named as the setting for the novel, it is unmistakably the template for the resort where action unfolds.
The first murmurings of Rob’s literary ambitions came as a teenager growing up in South
Yorkshire when he hand-wrote 140 pages of a science fiction novel. And although he now acknowledges that first effort was ‘appalling’, he kept writing and was a proud winner of a runners-up certificate from the 1984 South Yorkshire Literary Competition.
For many years it seemed as though that might be the pinnacle of his writing career as he amassed a collection of rejection letters from publishers, many of which, however, contained enough encouraging phrases for him not to hang up his pen. ‘Secker & Warburg read my first proper novel with “very considerable interest” and it went through three full in-house readings at Chatto & Windus before being rejected,’ Rob said.
Photographerturned-author Rob Lock