Eric Foster

I was twenty-one when I fell in love with an Irish lass from Sligo, Ireland and we married. I have been fascinated with Ireland’s history and people, ever since. That particular story is still running and we’re celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary with a bash at The Leeds Irish Centre – the same place as our Wedding Reception.
  Learning the story of St. Patrick, I was surprised at how little I had picked up through general knowledge. With further reading I found more of Patrick’s far-reaching achievements - in addition to dveloping the Christian Church in Ireland, he brought peace to the Irish kingdoms and was highly influential in teaching the nation to read and write - little mentioned in the history books and historic novels. These discoveries spurred me on, and after retiring from a career in sales and marketing I decided to tell Patrick’s story in an historical novel.
  I researched the saint’s history in greater depth; studied fifth century North West Britain, Ireland and Gaul and thereafter set about learning the craft of writing; booking myself onto an Arvon Course for beginners where outstanding authors Tiffany Murray and Richard Beard were our mentors. Later I joined a more advanced course at Bloomsbury, London, led by the diligent and brilliant William Ryan, who shared with us some of his own thoughts and ideas he’d used and developed whilst writing The Constant Soldier. We read The North Water by Ian McGuire, in preparation for his visit to the course as Guest Author. This dark and awesome story, later became a TV series. Thereafter I undertook regular attendance of local Darlington writing groups including Hash, Inkermans and Stop – Write - Hear.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   The pandemic lockdown gifted me an opportunity to seriously write, which I grasped with both forefingers and my book, Becoming St. Patrick – His Slavery finally materialised.