Jack is back

Jack Leathem with his latest book, The Four Tasks of Proteus. INLM1212-103gc
Jack Leathem with his latest book, The Four Tasks of Proteus. INLM1212-103gc
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WARINGSTOWN author Jack Leathem is proving to be prolific with the pen.

Since taking up writing in his late sixties, Jack has had two novels published.

His most recent book, ‘The Four Tasks Of Proteus’ is a prequel to his debut novel ‘Blacker’s Wood’.

It sees young hero Michael go on a fearful adventure with his dog Canis during which his resourcefulness is put to the test.

Jack (71) explained: “This book was written first. I wrote it two or three years ago but chose to go for the other one first as I thought it would be easier to get it published. Blacker’s Wood was closer to the length of novel publishers are after. ‘Proteus’ is slightly shorter, but no less action-packed.

“It picks up the story before Michael and Canis became friends and tells the story of their adventures in a land under the sea. In order to progress on the journey Michael has to solve tasks along the way.”

Jack was asked if there’s any of himself in Michael. He said: “He’s cleverer than me, so we’re not really alike.”

He said that although Lurgan isn’t mentioned by name some local landmarks have influenced the setting of the book.

He said: “Lurgan isn’t mentioned, but anyone who knows Lurgan Park will see I’ve drawn parallels with the park at the start of the book.

“The land under the sea isn’t really comparable to anywhere about the town.”

Jack explained why he took up writing: “I just thought I would try it, there was no particular moment when I said, I’d better write a book. I wrote these two and I’m still working on more stories.

“My father and mother were great readers. I read a lot as a child so may have been unconsciously influenced by things I read back then.”

Jack’s mother and father were Mary and George Leathem. He grew up on the Gilford Road and now lives in Waringstown.

Jack, a life member of Lurgan Rugby Club, first played for Lurgan in 1965 against Dungannon Seconds and was on the first committee at Lurgan.

He has been married to Maureen for 47 years.

‘The Four Tasks Of Proteus’ is published by Olympia. It’s available online at Amazon.co.uk and through Olympia website and soon to be on the shelves in all good bookstores.