A Jersey-based former accountant has been dipping back into finance during his retirement - by writing a trilogy of books about a "morally-dubious money grabber".
Ron Welling's (84) novels - The Price, The Paper Chase and The Last Chance - centre on the roguish, shady dealings of property developer Harry Stone.
While Ilford-born Ron previously worked in private practice for large international corporations and as a tutor in adult education, he has always harboured a love of writing.
“It’s one of those things that’s in you… I’ve always been more literate than numerical, which is interesting in my profession," he explained.
Eventually, aged 40, he made up his mind to start writing. At first, it was just a hobby, something he did for fun. Balancing writing and work, he spent 10 years writing his first novel.
Pictured: Released in November, 'The Last Chance' is the third and final in Ron Willing's trilogy.
Eventually, having embraced retirement, Ron decided he would chance his luck at becoming a published novelist.
“I just spontaneously sent it off. I never expected it to be published at all!”
Now, he has published a trilogy of novels, all set in the world of international finance.
The three books follow Harry Stone, a self-made entrepreneur from the East End of London who dabbles in high-end property development and organised crime.
Ron said: “He’s a bit on an anti-hero. He’s a morally-dubious money grabber.”
Pictured: Ron's trilogy of novels follow Harry Stone, "A morally dubious money-grabber".
Speaking about the inspiration for Harry Stone, Ron said: “I’ve met some odd people. I tend to picture the things that he does from people I’ve met in my career.
"He’s an amalgam of people I’ve met. I’ve seen human nature at its best and worst in many different places.”
Indeed, Ron spent seven years teaching businesses studies to the inmates at La Moye Prison, which he said gave him plenty of real-life inspiration to draw from.
After the publication of the first two novels, the final instalment - The Last Chance - of the trilogy was released in November.
The story follows Harry Stone as he attempts to snatch up the house of his dreams on the Brighton seafront. Shady stock market deals, diamonds traded from the Caribbean, sweeteners and Machiavellian scheming all ensue.
Pictured: Ron spent 7 years teaching buisness studies to inmates in La Moye Prison.
Ron said: “The nicest bit Is when you’ve written it and somebody says, ‘I really enjoyed that book’. It is difficult for me to say it’s a page-turner, of course, that would be a bit boastful."
Reviews of his previous outings have been positive, with readers calling his debut novel, The Price, a "riveting story of human greed and its inevitable consequences" and a "compelling, feasible and a hugely exciting novel".
The Price, The Paper Chase and Last Chance str available online or in local bookshops.
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