Inspiration Down Under is from the Oxford Mail

Oxford Mail: Andrew Edwards at Kewarra Beach Andrew Edwards at Kewarra Beach

A FORMER Wantage schoolboy has looked to his favourite newspapers for inspiration as he whiles his time away on the glorious beaches of Australia.

Author Andrew Edwards misses his local news so much he has his family post him copies of the Oxford Mail every month.

Now he has looked to the papers to inspire his debut novel – about a journalist working for the Oxford Mail.

Mr Edwards, now head of sports science at James Cooke University, Cairns, Australia, said: “It is a nice way to keep in touch with your roots, I still keep an eye on local football results.

“I used to run with the White Horse Harriers athletics club, so I will still occasionally see someone I know.”

In the book, an un-named sleuth reporter investigates the mysterious disappearance of international rock star “Someone”.

He wrote the novel, entitled Someone, for his 15-year-old son Alex, himself an aspiring rock star.

Mr Edwards, 44, said: “When you do any writing you gravitate to what you know and I liked living in Oxfordshire. It was great.”

The story is written from the perspective of a Wantage-born reporter, who has cut his teeth on the locals and graduated from the Oxford Mail to the Daily Express. There, he starts investigating the disappearance of the international rock star Someone, who vanished 18 years before.

Mr Edwards said he plays electric guitar “poorly”, but has already been “substantially outclassed” by son Alex.

“Alex tells me he enjoyed the book,” said Mr Edwards, “which for a teenager I think probably means he did enjoy it.”

Alex, who is currently trying to start his own band, even told his dad he would name them after a group in the book called Backbite.

Mr Edwards was born at Wantage Hospital in the summer of 1969, and went to Icknield School, now King Alfred’s East Site, on Springfield Road.

In 1986 he left school and worked at Oxford University as a finance officer before going to Sheffield’s Hallam University to study exercise physiology.

His wife, Tracy Scaysbrook, comes from Drayton, where her father Tony still lives, sending regular copies of the Oxford Mail to Australia.

The couple then moved with Alex to Australia in 2009.

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