Alan Pilcher, from Gosport, has lived with dyslexia since he was a child – with his teachers just assuming he was dim.
Now the 71-year-old’s murder mystery, entirely written on his iPhone 7 and using only his left middle finger, has been published via Amazon.
Panto star James Percy gets ready to launch his own theatre school
Alan, who took six months to write the book, said: ‘In school I was always bottom of the class, but nobody knew what dyslexia was back then.
‘I was a year behind and really struggled, but in the end I just learned to live with it – there are things you can do to make your life easier, and it doesn’t define who you are as a person.
‘When it came to writing it was difficult, but as you get older it feels like less of a big deal.’
Alan’s novel, called Arc of Doubt is about a body being pulled from Fareham Creek, and the mysteries and secrets that are dug up with it.
A retired builder, Alan said he’s been writing at any opportunity he can, from quiet evenings in front of the telly to whenever his wife Frances is out shopping.
He typed the entire novel out on his phone – but having struggled to adapt to the technology, was typing using just one finger.
‘I watch my children type on their phones and their fingers are just a blur,’ he joked.
‘There’s no way I could do that, not at my age. But it actually made sense for me to type it up on my phone because of the autocorrect – it’s the perfect answer to dyslexia.
‘My family has given me huge amounts of encouragement and they are all amazed I’ve done this.’
His wife Frances, 68, a retired journalist, edited his book once he had finished – but only needed to add punctuation in.
Alan chose to publish his book through Amazon, with books made to order preventing any copies going to waste.
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
Our trial offer starts from £2 a month for the first two months.