A HOLMFIRTH author is celebrating having his work published for the first time with a book-signing in Huddersfield.

Kevin Chandler will be among eight authors signing copies of new short story collection, 8 Hours, at Waterstones on New Street from 7.15pm on Thursday, April 10.

The collection, published by Legend Press, features eight stories, each by a different author and written in the ‘first person’ about an hour in the life of a central character.

Mr Chandler’s story, 50 Minute Hour, tells the story of a policeman who has been dragged reluctantly to see a Relate counsellor by his partner in a bid to save their failing relationship.

The story reveals his thoughts and feelings, flitting between memories and present experiences in the Relate waiting room and counselling session.

Mr Chandler drew on his own experience as a counsellor for the story. He has been a full-time therapist since 1982 and, as well as running a private practice in Holmfirth, he lectures and has trained and supervised Relate counsellors for more than 20 years.

He spends half his time working as a therapist and the rest writing. He has been writing seriously for around eight years and has several novels completed.

These include A Father’s Hands, a memoir about boyhood and Listening In, which explores parallels between two professions – psychotherapy and prostitution – and the effects of a lifetime spent as a paid listener.

Mr Chandler has also spent a year writing a first person story about a middle-aged woman who has come out of a marriage and is trying to re-invent herself and her life by writing an online blog.

He said: “Writing in the first person has sharpened my skills; it’s very interesting. I’ve been writing seriously for eight years and each year gets more serious.”

As well as signing books in Huddersfield, Mr Chandler and his fellow authors will be at signings in London and Dorset to promote the collection.

He said he was proud to have been chosen from hundreds of hopeful writers for the collection.

“It’s very difficult to get published these days, being good isn’t enough. It is hard for new writers to break through, but Legend Press are committed to publishing new material.

“It is nice to have been chosen by them from hundreds of people for this collection, because over the years I’ve had lots of rejections.”