Schoolfrenz - Evening Gazette - January 16, 2006

A representation of the article in the The Evening Gazette on January 16, 2006 by Louise Sassoon.
(though not 100% factually correct of what the author said during the interview!)

A FORMER software retailer from Essex is hoping to kick-start his writing career after moving to a north Essex village.

Ray Crowther moved to Tolleshunt Major in a bid to finish his first professional novel, Schoolfrenz, more than three years after starting it.

He said: "I got fed up trying to fit everything in, so I moved somewhere I could concentrate completely on the book.

"I finished it within months."

Ray, formerly of Hatfield Peverel, has already written two books during his time running his Witham-based shop.

But now he has retired to concentrate on his writing.

The 57-year-old said: "I have always loved writing but was finding it increasingly difficult to do that and run the shop.

"Moving to the Tiptree area will hopefully give me the peace and quiet I need and I have already started on my fourth novel, which is based in New York."

Ray, of Tudwick Road, set his latest book in Tyneside.

It is a thriller based on the strange encounters old school friends have when they meet up at a seafront restaurant.

Ray said: "I decided to set it in the area because my wife grew up there and has strong connections.

"I have visited there a few times and thought it would be a good place to seta novel, especially given the topical nature of the website Friends Reunited.

"I really enjoyed finishing off the novel and hope anybody who reads it will enjoy reading just as much."

Schoolfrenz is available in book shops now.


Novel approach - Ray Crowther has started on his fourth novel after moving to the Tiptree area in the hope of finding peace and quiet to help him write.

Original press cutting