FORMER journalist Jack Dunnill has finally got around to writing a book ... at the age of 72.
While so many people say they will write a book, former Fleet Street reporter Jack has finally done it and got over the even more tricky hurdle of finding a publisher.
Jack, a grandad from Wooldale, has just released his first work of fiction, Dancing With The Captain, through publishing house Austin and Macauley and it has just gone on sale.
The book, a romantic comedy, is set on a ritzy cruise ship on its maiden voyage.
Hero Alan Hale, an award-winning news reporter, finds everything from beautiful women to sabotage and action onboard.
Jack worked for the Daily Mail on Fleet Street from 1964 before moving to the newspaper’s Manchester office in 1967.
He bought a house in Holmfirth where he lived until 2004 when he moved up the valley to Wooldale.
Jack was made redundant when the Manchester office closed in 1987 but continued to work freelance for the tabloid until 1999 when he retired.
He helped to found Holmfirth’s Turn Again Theatre whose first performance played at Holmfirth Civic Hall in 1987.
Soon afterwards Jack became the company’s publicity officer – a position he still holds.
Also a keen actor, he has written many sketches, reviews, one-act and full-length plays which the group has performed.
But Jack, who is married to Beryl and the couple have two daughters Jenny and Debbie, has never submitted anything for publication – until now.
So why has he waited so long to write his first novel?
“It’s the old, old story, I suppose,’’ he said. “My whole working career has been spent as a journalist. So, if writing and dealing with words is your full-time job, then you don’t really want to take it home with you as well.
“The mystery or whodunit idea I dreamed up … literally … three years ago. I vaguely considered it as a possibility for a play but never got round to it.
“Then my wife and I booked a cruise from Genoa to Buenos Aires in November and December 2008 and that gave me the idea to marry the cruising element with the mystery side.
“On this particular cruise there were six nationalities and there was a fair amount of shouting and blustering.
“And on this particular afternoon there was a serious altercation in the pool area between two elderly women passengers ... one British and the other Portuguese.
“It ended up with the British woman hitting the Portuguese woman, well more like battering her, several times with her Zimmer frame. You couldn’t make up things like that, could you?”
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