Author, 86, publishes sixth book in four years - Murderous Exchange

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A Wainfleet author who found a flair for writing in later life is looking ahead to the release of his sixth book – just four years after making his debut.

Murderous Exchange by Ernest Barrett, 86, is set to be published early this year.

It will be the fifth book by the Sheffield-born author since his debut in 2012.

Despite coming to writing relatively late in life, Ernest says he had always wanted to put his stories into print.

“I used to be a keen reader,” he said. “When I was a young lad, they used to call me ‘bookworm’ – I always had a book in my hand.”

It is a far cry from how Ernest spent his career: six-and-a-half years’ National Service with the Royal Air Force from 1948, a spell at a steel works in Rotherham (a move to Lincolnshire would follow after he was involved in a life-changing accident at the site in 1968 in which he broke six ribs and fractured his spine), and then time as a car park attendant in Skegness up to his retirement in 1995.

Ernest pursued his interest in creative writing through the Open University and then a Skegness writers’ club.

On where he gets his ideas in light of his prolific output, he said: “I don’t know. It just comes to me.”