Novel inspired by ‘most exciting and terrifying’ moment of author’s life

Robert Cooper has written a book about his holiday experience with his pals in Majorca.
Robert Cooper has written a book about his holiday experience with his pals in Majorca.
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A twist-heavy comic novel about a group of lads from Spen was inspired by the “most exciting and terrifying” moment of the author’s life.

Robert Cooper, 53, was caught in a storm sailing from Majorca to Ibiza around on holiday with four friends.

As violent waves crashed around the pals and lightening flashed from the blackened sky, they voted to turn back.

Mr Cooper said: “I thought ‘we’ve got a chance here. We are either going to be terrified or we can just live it and be really excited about it’. I had five or six hours of a great time.

“It was the most exciting, terrifying thing I’ve ever been involved with.

“I put the book’s plot down that night – it took me half an hour.”

Five years later, he self-published From Blackpool to Cabrera, which charts the journey of Max West.

The fictional manager of Spen Pool and his mates – locals of the Bull’s Head pub in Gomersal – jet out to Majorca to meet a rich old friend on his yacht.

But a cat-and-mouse plot involves them boarding the wrong boat, which belongs to a Colombian drug lord, and the ridiculous consequences.

NHS finance director Mr Cooper said: “It’s about Yorkshire guys stepping up to the plate – ordinary guys can do extraordinary things.

“Max has been undecided all his life, he’s never taken a risk. This might be the risk that gets him killed.”

Father-of-two Mr Cooper, who grew up in Gomersal but now lives in Leeds, wanted to write a book after someone said that people who work in finance only know how to deal with numbers.

“I feel really vindicated. To finish it is fantastic. I’m really pleased with myself for sticking at it. I really, really enjoyed doing it,” he said.

His children Grace, 24, Zachary, 22, and girlfriend Lauren are glad the book is out after years of hearing about it – but a sequel is in the pipeline.