A SUCCESSFUL author based in Royal Wootton Bassett takes inspiration from Swindon and its surroundings to write thrillers.

Martyn Shah, whose pen name is R.D. Shah, has three instalments of The Harker Chronicles for sale on Amazon and releases his fourth book tomorrow.

He said: “I was born in Manchester but I always grew up very much in the countryside, so when I moved down here, it was very much the same feel.

“It is a very nice countryside feel, but you’ve also got Swindon just on the edge, so you get both worlds.

“You’ve also got London, Oxford, Bristol and Southampton next door and I love the fact that we are right in the middle of everywhere. There’s a really nice cosy feeling.”

Martyn’s journey started five years ago when he suddenly realised he always wanted to be a writer.

“I was walking down the street and it just suddenly hit me, it was kind of a realisation,” he said.

“I literally went back home and started to write.”

“The first book took me a year, because I hadn’t written a book before and you don’t know anyone in the business. You’re learning as you go and then I managed to find an editor through a family’s friend, and he came back to me a week later and liked the book. He worked on it for two or three months and then I had a finished copy.

“As we got the book out, we sold four copies after one day and then you start checking every day, every hour and probably three days later. We went to 100 and then 1,000.”

In February 2017, Canelo, a digital publisher, first contacted Martyn to offer him a contract for his third book. At that time, the author had already published two books on his own on Amazon. He has since signed another two-book deal.

“When they [Canelo] first contacted me, I already published my two first books. They said they’ll do a contract for a third book and see how that does, and that came out last year and did really well again. They’re very strong in the US and getting a foot in that market is really tough,” said Martyn. “Then, they came back and said that they want to contract me for another two books and I just finished the first of that two book contracts. As long as we keep selling then they’re happy to keep working with me.”

Martyn’s latest book, The Dark Temple, is released tomorrow(February 28).