Graham Fitzgerald wanted to become an author from a young age, and became a journalist as means of achieving this.
Many years later, after a distinguished career as a print and TV journalist, working for the BBC, ITV, and Sky News, he has finally completed his first novel: Astraia: Spirit of Defiance.
The book, which is aimed at children and young adults, is set in Ancient Greece at the time of the Trojan War. It features monstrous pirates, an epic battle for power, and an intrepid heroine with an indomitable spirit.
Although the action takes place in the distant past, there are distinct parallels with the modern world, and the lead character, inspired by Graham's late daughter Claire, has been lauded as a model for the #MeToo generation.
Graham lives in Richmond, Surrey with his wife and youngest son William.
Astraia: Spirit of Defiance has had some five-star reviews since being published on 28 October. One reviewer on Amazon described it as a "thrilling adventure story". Another wrote it was "an excellent book for young minds". A third said it was "a real page-turner".
Here's what some other reviewers wrote:
"This is a clever, knowledgeable and informative story of a teenager forced to be brave and adventurous by circumstances she could never have imagined. The story of her change from normal, everyday, modern daughter to brave fighter is fun and exciting. It's a book to show young girls how they, too, can take charge."
"This spirited adventure is a great read for young teens. Set round the adventures of a fearless 15-year-old warrior princess, it brings the Trojan War period to life through her exploits."
"My kids loved this book so much that I felt I had to give it a go myself. Discovered that it works for adults as well as younger readers. Great adventure story with believable characters and a plot that really sweeps you along with it."
The paperback and Kindle editions are available on the Troubador and other websites.