At the age of 75, London-born Steve Brook, who lives in Australia, admits he left it late to publish his first book.
He did so in 2003 and has since published four more, most recently For Sam. Out next week, it is a tragic satire about the imagined life of triage Brook’s uncle, Sam.
It follows the career of a man who, at various times in his disordered life, is a cinema ticket scalper, an actor, a political extremist, then a bogus spiritualist in a London temple. Mr Brook tells People: “I began to write proper books only after I retired a few years ago. I am told I left it a bit too late, and I concur.”
However, he says he had wanted to be a writer from an early age. “Other Jewish kids of my age in London wanted to be engine drivers or Israeli military heroes. As a young fan of H G Wells’s science fiction, I thought it would be nice to be a writer and have all those girls running after me.”
A member of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society, Mr Brook spent eight years in Poland where he worked as a journalist for the Polish Radio Foreign Service in Warsaw.