An author and former county councillor has released his latest book to help raise money for the Dementia Forward charity.
Paul Richardson, of Littlethorpe near Ripon – who was a county councillor for Masham until last year – has had 1,000 copies of The Knotted Handkerchief and other selected stories printed with the aim of raising £5,000 through profits made by book sales.
“Last year Dementia Forward asked me to write a story about Alzheimer’s,” said Paul, 66, who began writing around 16 years ago.
“They loved it and asked could I put it into print form.”
He describes The Knotted Handkerchief as “a long short story” and it is one of nine stories featured in the 190-page work.
“The Knotted Handkerchief makes you laugh and makes you cry,” said Paul.
The plot follows a man – an undertaker – whose loveless marriage comes to an end when his wife dies of cancer but finds new love before discovering he has Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s quite a tragic tale – it’s sad but there’s a love story there too.
“The story brings into focus an invisible disability that is indiscrimate in who it affects.”
Paul, whose previous books include A Lone Voyage, A New Beginning and Footsteps of the Brave , has returned to writing following open heart surgery in October last year when he had an aorta valve replaced.
Another tale included in his latest work is The Last Dance – a story with topical themes as it harks back to the First World War for which 100th anniversary commemorations have been taking place throughout 2014.
The Last Dance starts with a young man’s visit to a stately home in the 1960s along with an elderly, former servant of the house where several objects trigger memories of a romance which took place five decades earlier.
“The story is based on personal experiences – half of it is true,” said Paul.
Other stories in the collection include First Job, based on Paul’s own experiences as a gravedigger with hearing difficulties.
The last story is entitled The Kill, which follows a fox and its hunt for food in the Scottish Highlands in which an encounter with a swan has devastating effects which ripple out from the initial incident.
The Knotted Handkerchief and other selected stories is available to buy priced £7.99 from Dementia Forward at Ripon Community House on Allhallowgate in the city or from the website http:// talulahpublishing.co.uk/