Novel idea – Spen writer published

Paul Alkazraji, author of new book, The Silencer.
Paul Alkazraji, author of new book, The Silencer.

A former Whitcliffe Mount pupil has joined Spen literary greats such as Roger Hargreaves after having his first novel published.

Paul Alkazraji, who grew up in Oddfellows Street and Foldings Road, Scholes, now has his latest work, The Silencer, in the shops.

The story charts an author’s attempts to get a book published in Albania against a backdrop of intimidation and secret societies.

Paul, 47, who worked as a freelance journalist in the 1990s, has previously had two books published, but this is first novel to date and said much of his inspiration came from his years in Spen.

He said: “I come back every year to see family – the area’s influence on me was formative, and I find myself drawing on that a lot when I write.”

He initially went to Albania as a reporter in the late 90s before returning there to settle in 2003. He has run a magazine for churches in Albania since 2004, but admits he sometimes pines for his Yorkshire roots.

“I have lots of fond memories of Spen,” he added. “Although, Albania is a place of fabulous character with a fascinating history, I remember fondly the days when I used to play down the fields off Wellands Lane and go blackberry picking!”

For a chance to win a signed copy of The Silencer, answer the following question: In which country is The Silencer set? Send your answer, along with your name, address and daytime telephone number to Richard Beecham, Reporter Series, 17 Wellington Road, Dewsbury, WF13 1HQ. Entries must reach us by August 27.