An author has shown it is never too late to pursue your dreams after having his first book published at the age of 67.

Jerry Simcock is originally from Brighton but moved to Athlestaneford in 2005.

He completed his book, ‘Giselle and Mr Memphis’, in 2012 and, after several unsuccessful pitches to publishers, had all but given up on seeing it in print.

That was until 2020 when Glasgow-based publisher Vagabond Voices reached out to Mr Simcock expressing an interest in the book.

Mr Simcock said: “I had pretty much given up on it ever being published and in 2020 I thought I’d have one last go at reaching out to publishers.

“Vagabond Voices then got in contact saying that one of their interns had read it and really liked the book and that they wanted to publish it.

“I was delighted – I was also relieved too because I had put so much work into the book.”

It was published on September 19 this year after two years of finalising publication arrangements.

This was a welcome boost to Mr Simcock as he is currently recovering from colon cancer.

He said: “I’ve been in for tests and they all look positive now so hopefully that’s me on the road to recovery.

“It hasn’t been easy but seeing my book published has certainly been a positive thing for me.”

The fictional tale centres on a German dwarf entertainer who is forced to be the companion to the sister of an SS Officer, who has Down’s Syndrome, and how he witnessed her descent into Nazi euthanasia programmes.

The protagonist writes down his story of his experience as well as his struggles in helping his friend Giselle, a transvestite survivor of the Vietnam War, to cope with her own past.

The novel touches on Mr Simcock’s own experiences during time spent in Germany as a 19-year-old in the 1970s.

Mr Simcock said his book being published was proof that you can start doing what you love at any age.

He said: “My message would be to never give up: it’s not too late to start doing whatever it is you want to do.

“If that’s writing a novel, I’d encourage people to attend writing classes – they are always very helpful and you’ll learn a lot.

“But, most importantly, read books. I’ve been reading throughout my life and that’s the best thing for writing a book. If you don’t read, you won’t be a good author.”

‘Giselle and Mr Memphis’ can be purchased for £10.95 on the Vagabond Voices website at