A former pilot with a passion for storytelling has plotted a way to raise funds for charity. Author Chris Crowther has donated 72 copies of fantasy adventure story Timecruiser to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
He personally delivered the box to EACH’s shop in Station Road, Sheringham.
“Having raised children of our own, and now having the joy of grandchildren and great grandchildren, our hearts go out to parents whose lives have been blighted by family illness, especially those seeing a beloved child with a serious condition,” said Chris.
“It’s wonderful that there’s an organisation like EACH. It provides respite and support to those parents, and comfort and care to the children. Its work is so vital and deserves all the support we can give it. I hope these books make at least a small financial contribution.”
Timecruiser is set on the Norfolk Broads, encompasses key events in the history of the area and is aimed at eight to 12-year-olds.
“As a young boy, I was inspired by the ‘Biggles’ books of Captain W E Johns – not only to be a pilot like Biggles and have adventures in far-flung places, but also to write about them like Johns himself,” said Chris, who is now retired but was a pilot for 42 years, flying aeroplanes and helicopters. The final 23 years of his flying life were spent as chief pilot of a helicopter operation in West Africa.
“When I left school and started flying, I began submitting articles to magazines and had the thrill of seeing some published.
“My ambition was always to write fiction and when I went to Africa that seemed the perfect hobby. So, between flights and in the evenings, I began writing picture-script stories for ‘Commando’ magazine.
“After several were published, the editor wrote to me and said he thought I should write a full-length book. It was something I’d always wanted to try, so I wrote my first, a flying thriller entitled Bladestrike, which was published in America.
“Since then, I’ve written a further nine books – another aviation thriller, seven murder-mysteries set on the Broads and one children’s book, Timecruiser.
“Although my only children’s book, it was something I always wanted to do, feeling that youngsters having a holiday on the Broads would enjoy it more if they had a knowledge of this magic water world’s past.”
Chris, 79, lives with wife Sue in Hoveton, on the Broads. Between them, the couple have three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.