THE DIARY: Let me tell you a story, or 21, says John

John Foster, self-published Sheffield writer
John Foster, self-published Sheffield writer
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JOHN Foster is a writer in a hurry.

The 71-year-old, of Heeley, has self-published a book of short stories, some set in and around Sheffield, and he’s currently doing the promotional rounds for the collection called Nine Times In Ten.

Why the haste?

“I’m not getting any younger,” says the retired teacher and school inspector. “I don’t have that long left and, although I have nothing wrong with me that I know of, I wanted to get it done. No-one lasts for ever.

The book – named from a Lord Chesterfield quote that “nine times in ten the heart governs understanding” – is the culmination of a life-long dream.

When John finished work he took a couple of creative writing courses at Sheffield’s Institute of Lifelong Learning

“I set out to write 21 stories,” he explains.

And that’s what he’s done. Two are set in Norfolk Park, two in Heeley and one at a football match at Hillsborough.

John may be a Blade but he comes from an era and persuasion where Sheffielders would watch Wednesday one week, United the next and support both.

For now, though, he’s back in a hurry – and the pace suits him fine.

Nine Times In Ten available at shops now priced £7.99.