Phil: It’s my old editor’s fault. David and I are both VW campervan fans, and the conversions in our vans are by the Folkestone firm of Dormobile.
So, when he posted the cover of Tess of the Dormobiles on Facebook, I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before I read it.
The story concerns Theresa Finbow – a self-published author, and her plan to write the difficult second novel. She borrows a holiday cottage in a quiet area of Norfolk, the plan being to emulate her lead character Tess.
In Norfolk, a trip to the local pub brings her into contact with Billy, a local farmworker who has a mysterious and ominous past. Worse, his brother is the reason that Tess is on holiday without her husband.
Can Tess get her novel finished, survive contact with Billy and resolve the issues in her personal life?
Will Stebbings is a self-published author with at least five books to his credit. Tess of the Dormobiles is printed by Createspace, a print-on-demand house, and sold via eBay, which is where I bought it.
You might expect me to review this with 2 stars and tell you I’d been ripped off. And you’d be wrong.
OK, the text could do with the attentions of a copy editor. There’s too much nerdy detail in places. Both Will and Tess know Norfolk and relate some locations in a very blokeish way with road numbers. I also query what two chapters of the fictional Tess book add to anything.
But, as I read it, one word kept popping up in my head – fresh. The writing is fresh and enjoyable. The plot rolls along well and a few surprises are chucked in along the way, especially the twist at the end. It’s not the best book I’ve read, but a lot better than many efforts by names famous for things other than writing.
I’m pleased the title, which is explained in the story, sold me this book. Reading it was fun. Owning it is a bit of a laugh. Passing it on to La Nolan will be a pleasure.