Retired accountant publishes book

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 July 2011 | UPDATED: 09:44 11 July 2011

Author Martin Bates

Author Martin Bates


A man with a lifelong passion for writing has published his first book, despite spending 25 years of his life as an accountant.

Martin Bates was made redundant from a US bank in 2008. Unable to face the prospect of finding another job as he approached 60 he took time out to consider his future.

He also dusted down all the unfinished novels that had begun to gather dust under his bed. He then promised to read them all one last time before shredding them.

Yet, one had passed the test of time. Martin told the Recorder: “There was one that I read and it had a lot of power for me. I thought I can’t shred this. I’m going to re-write this.”

However despite his original conviction about the book, it was another 18 months before he had something that could be presented to publishers.

It was a literary editor who helped Martin produce the finished work, goading him to do better and raising the bar every time he reached a milestone.

Now Martin, who lives in Capel Road, Forest Gate, has published it, calling it The Little Girl of the Favela. It is set in the 1980s and its central character is a psychic girl from the slums of Rio who arrives in London with hopes of making her fortune.

It is an eclectic mix of humour and spiritual insights some of which must stem from his experiences of life, perhaps gained during a decade of travelling the globe. In India he spent time with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, famous for teaching The Beatles to meditate.

Although he made a good living as an accountant, writing has always been his passion. Martin said: “I used to read a lot as a boy. I was very good at creative writing and got an A for ‘O’ Level English. I used to get a quite a few accolades. Beyond that I used to write casually but it was really in the 1980s that I wrote a lot. That was my most productive period of writing - I wrote lots of short stories and started quite a few novels.”

Martin will have a stall at the Forest Gate Festival in Osborne Road tomorrow where he will be signing copies of his book.

For each book sold, Martin will donate £1 to Richard House Children’s Hospice.

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