Paul Ferguson at Kingston’s Waterstones to sign copies of first thriller novel

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Federica Baggio 

Paul Ferguson recently left broadcasting journalism and a brilliant business career behind to embark in a thrilling writing adventure, he told The River.

The former BBC and ITV sports commentator and professional hockey player was at Waterstones in the Kingston Bentall Centre on December 8 to meet his readers and hand out copies of his first, successful crime thriller, Killing the Dead.

With his still quite bold Canadian accent, which he picked up in Ottawa where he grew up despite his British origins, he said: “I was running a business for a long time and I was making good money out of it, but somehow at some point I just felt that I needed a change.”

Mr Ferguson explained that while he was looking to sell the business, he already had the idea for his book, and after selling it he finally found the time to fully focus on his new project.

“It’s such a different life. No more running into London every day, no more people calling me all the time. No one wants me now, it’s just me and my book,” he said, jokily.

Paul Ferguson at KU

Mr Ferguson, who ran an immigration consultancy company from 1985 until 2006, held several speeches at Kingston University in the past to advise international students who wanted to start their career in the UK after graduation.

“I think that the Government was more welcoming to people from overseas in the past,” he said.

“Now it seems like they’re trying to go against immigration and I think they shouldn’t. I believe the UK also needs people from overseas to grow.”

Writing for passion

Mr Ferguson, who received a BAFTA nomination for a short film script in 2008, admitted that writing is something he chose for passion and not for money.

“You don’t become rich by writing, not usually at least,” he said.

“Big publishing houses are not looking for you. They always tell you they will get back to you in one-year time. But who want to sit around for one year?

“I contacted a little publishing house up North [England] and they were instead very supportive.”

The book

Killing the Dead is a fanciful crime thriller set in L.A.

It features an aspirant screenwriter, Joe Tubbs, who decides to perform the plot of his screenplay in real life, emboding its bloodthirsty protagonist, in the attempt to force snobbish Hollywood film industries to give him a chance.

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