Car salesman writes crime novel

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A CAR salesman turned crime writer launched his debut novel with a book signing in Sheffield.

James Johnson, aged 54, who worked for Sheaf Motors, Andrew Town BMW Specialists and the Turret Motor Co said his career gave him an insight into the lives of people from all walks of life.

“I spent my career selling very expensive cars to people with money,” he said.

“When people are on the up they like to show off and one of the ways they do that is to buy flash cars. I was the person they’d use to source the car, do the deal and, in the process, become friends with scores of people I’d never meet ordinarily.

“I got unguarded access to peoples’ lives and it is these snippets that helped inspire my novel.”

His book Friends and Foes – A South Yorkshire Tale is set on the streets of Sheffield and is a three-part tale of ‘winners, losers, chancers and swindlers’ opting for a supposed better life on the wrong side of the tracks.

The author said he always enjoyed writing, but was never encouraged as a child.

He said: “Anyone with any literary ambitions at my school was at best, met with derision or, at worst, simply beaten up.”

He had a book signing at Waterstones in Orchard Square yesterday.

His novel costs £9.95 from bookshops.