Third novel recalls gay author's career on the buses as well as past fear and prejudice
Veteran author Chris Cheek publishes a new novel this week, his third, all published within the last twelve months. Lancaster University graduate Chris, now 68, lives in the Yorkshire Dales in a house he has shared with his partner, now husband, Michael for the last 25 years.
Prior to taking up his pen as a novelist, Chris spent over 46 years working in and around public transport as line manager, consultant and analyst, including working for Preston-based consultancy The TAS Partnership as a director for over 20 years. During this time he worked on bus, rail and tram projects around the country.
The new book brings together his long career in public transport with his fiction writing, as it tells the story of a Yorkshire bus driver who struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. The story also deals with the 'north-south' divide, and how it can affect friendships and personal development. The book opens in 1997 and recalls a time when same sex relationships were much less acceptable to many people than they are today.
Chris commented, "It's LGBT History Month at the moment, so it's a good time to remember some of the prejudice and fear that gay people encountered in the past - even as recently as 20 years ago. I hope that this book helps us to do that."
More about the new book
David and Alan are in their mid-twenties, best friends since junior school in the Yorkshire mill town where they grew up. When Alan left to live in London six years ago, David was left with memories of one night together which he quickly buried. Now married to Mona with two boys, he has a comfortable life with a good job driving buses. He enjoys his work, is well thought of and has prospects of promotion.
Alan meanwhile has built a successful career in advertising, leaving his upbringing far behind. He has a circle of close friends, lives in a fashionable suburb and drives an expensive car. Called back to Yorkshire by an aunt’s illness, he is brought face to face with memories of his childhood and adolescence… and his old friend David.
When David takes a new job driving coaches to London and stays with Alan, the rekindling of their friendship proves to be incendiary. This plunges David into a maelstrom of conflicting emotions about his future, his feelings for Alan, his marriage and his two sons. If marrying Mona was a mistake, can he find the courage to acknowledge the fact and the words to admit it? And would he really fit in to Alan’s new life?
When events intervene, David’s dilemma is resolved in a sudden and unexpected way, and everybody’s lives are altered for ever.
Veering off Course is the first of a planned series of four novels under the title ‘The Navigation Quartet’.
Currently available on Amazon via clicking here