Sunday, March 26, 2023

Dyslexic Lincolnshire author who was “shot, stabbed and set on fire” launches debut novel

Dyslexic author Nick Love’s debut revenge thriller, ‘2600 Feet Per Second’, follows ex-Royal Marine Commando Chris ‘Laser’ Beem as his military past catches up with him in spectacular fashion.

Nick is a bright 61 year-old Lincolnshire lad. Born in Sleaford, he now lives in Lincoln with wife Delia. His life hasn’t been the insular, rural life you might expect. Nick served for a decade as a Royal Marine Commando and then travelled the world as an IT consultant and salesman.

Nick’s military experience inspired his debut novel. Like Nick, the book’s hero saw active service with Royal Marines 42 Commando. He served in the Falklands during the Argentine invasion, and he lives in central Lincoln, with his wife. Unlike Nick, however, Chris has a young daughter, Matilda, who is a central character in the book.

“We’ve no children,” says Nick. “We weren’t lucky enough. We did try.”

Nick’s love of family might surprise some, given his own childhood experiences.

“My parents never liked each other. My mother refused to carry me home after I was born. I always felt rejected and never felt loved.”

His parents divorced when Nick was eight. Neither wanted him, so his grandmother brought him up. Rejection continued throughout school, where he was underestimated by his teachers and his fellow pupils.

“My report card read dismally. At school, I was called ‘thick’, which was hurtful, especially as I didn’t think I was thick. I played chess at the age of five.

“I didn’t know I had Dyslexia. In the 1960s and 70s, it wasn’t recognised.”

Nick was diagnosed aged 35.

“It’s not a lack of intelligence. You’re number- or word-blind. Sentences jumble themselves. Doing a cryptic crossword with me is huge fun,” he jokes.

Nick left Lincoln in 1978 and joined The Royal Marines. Nick loved The Marines “and they loved [him] back.”

Tears well in Nick’s eyes as he recalls the first time he felt accepted and valued. “Nobody there rejected me. They welcomed me with open arms.”

The Marines encouraged Nick and he blossomed. He attended Exeter University, on day release, where he graduated with an HND in Business. He was popular: “I had stories to tell, was confident. A little cocky perhaps.” Nick fondly remembers university as “Fabulous. It took me to a completely different place. It opened my eyes.”

“I’ve been shot, stabbed and set fire to,” he says. In Belfast, a group of men on a bridge poured a lit stream of petrol onto them, as they drove beneath.

Experiences like this and having “witnessed death first-hand,” left Nick with PTSD. After a decade with the Marines, he left.

Nick then went into sales. He thrived in a sales environment, where many struggle with rejection. “I’d been rejected most of my life, so I didn’t take it personally when someone said ‘no’.” During tough times, Nick consoled himself with “at least no-one is shooting at me.”

After more than 30 years in industry, Nick retired.

He then focused on completing the book. “I’d have an idea – a mental image of a scene and write just one page. I’d show it to Delia who’d say ‘That’s great – go write another one’.”

The book took ten years “due to a lack of time and lack of faith.” The sequel took six months.

Despite the similarities, Nick insists it’s a work of fiction. “A lot of first novels are semi-autobiographical,” he says. “You have to write about something you know.”

Nick wrote using simple, short sentences, wanting it to be easy to read. “I wanted people with Dyslexia to know, there’s no need to feel ashamed. You can give it a go. No matter what your challenge, there is always a way through it. I’m proof of that.”

Nick seems relaxed about sales. He has been told: “This would make a great film.” He jokes that it would fulfil a fantasy if he could collaborate on the film with his namesake, Nick Love (Director of The Sweeney, The Football Factory and others).

Nick’s debut novel, ‘2600 Feet Per Second’ was published in January 2023 by Olympia Publishers. It is available on Amazon.


By Jeremy (Jez) Donaldson

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