Somerset West author, Paul English, has a new audience for his superhero novels.
The first two books published in Paul’s Fire Angel Universe Series, Fire Angel: Genesis and Fire Angel: Turning Point, have now been donated to the library of the International School of Cape Town by Cliff Davies, head of geography, who won them in an online competition run by the author through his Facebook fan page.
Although you wouldn’t think it when you read his books, Paul has faced many difficult physical challenges in his life. The unexplained and undiagnosed syndrome with which he was born has affected both his sight and hearing throughout his 38 years. Nor has he an academic background, having left school after Grade 9. Paul says he found school boring as he felt it kept him from his drawing and writing.
The children’s TV series Transformers first awoke the desire to write when Paul was just seven years old. Putting together his combined talent for writing and drawing, he has produced dozens of hand drawn comic books over the years.
Later, the inspiration to create his own superhero came from listening to an interview with Stan Lee about how he came up with Spider-Man and the Marvel Universe.
After a few attempts to start his novel, Paul took a course in creative writing, which gave him a much better foundation. He regrets not having done that first of all and earnestly recommends this to aspiring writers.
Paul did not want to copy the stereotypical male hero with a perfect body and all the techno gadgets. His superhero is Haley, a sassy but kind-hearted teenager living in a crime ridden working class neighbourhood, with fears of retrenchment looming over her parents.
In Paul’s first novel, Fire Angel: Genesis, Haley is caught in the impact of a crashing meteorite, which gives her some very unusual powers.
Soon she is being hounded by unscrupulous people who want to harness her superpowers for themselves. Haley quickly learns not to trust anyone, especially not the scientists who have their own secret agenda.
In the sequel, Fire Angel: Turning Point, we meet a new superhuman, Nemesis, who brings death and destruction to all who have wronged her.
A confrontation with her leads Haley down the dark path which she has set on. Haley faces some tough choices about whether she will return to defend her community or not.
Paul admits that there is a bit of him in Haley: courage in the face of difficulties, played down by a quirky sense of humour. Asked what his message to fellow writers would be, Paul says: “Write the story you’d want to read.”
Fire Angel: Genesis and Fire Angel: Turning Point are available as a double pack from Paul for R270.
The third book in the series, Fade, will be published soon. The fourth novel is well underway and Paul has already come up with several more ideas for future books in the series.
Visit wattpad.com to read Paul’s fan fiction story Batman: Dawn of the Night.
For more information about Paul and his work, contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org