A FORMER Swindon Advertiser journalist is celebrating after the publication of his debut novel.

Nathan Woolford said the launch of the book Train Dust, which follows the adventures of a travelling circus on the US west coast in the 1950s, represents the fulfilment of a lifelong dream.

The 42-year-old enjoyed two work experience spells at the Advertiser in the late 1990s and contributed sports articles for several years. He now works as a sub-editor at the Daily Express.

Born and raised in Swindon, he has been involved in the media world since his schooldays and gained a BA Honours degree in Journalism from University College Falmouth in 2001.

A keen creative writer since childhood, he admits the creation of Trail Dust was a long-time personal project.

Nathan said: “To me, writing is an addiction. I was always writing stories and thinking up plots when I was younger.

“I always wanted to write a novel. I had several stabs at it when I was a student, but finally went for it all out when I was a little older.

“I thought of the characters several years ago. It may sound weird, but the characters are precious to me and I truly love them."

Nathan described Trail Dust as being half adventure, half soap opera. The story follows circus owner Kal Klondike and his troupe of performers and staff as they travel across the American west coast for a season full of drama, disaster and triumph.

He described creating this colourful world as “like a hobby”, and added: “There are a lot of theories out there about how to write a novel.

"For me, I think one of the most important aspects is to see it through. To make it to the end. There are loads of guys I have met who have started a novel, but it remains unfinished for whatever reason. 

“I think to actually get through it, to get the whole thing down, is a massive achievement in itself, regardless of what anyone thinks of it. People have to like your work – but there has to be a finished product for them to like.”

Trail Dust, published by Austin Macauley, is available from Amazon and to order from bookstores nationwide.