Les Haswell is the latest literary star to emerge from Winchester Rotary with the publication of his new book ‘The Prodigal Son’. And he’s got a motivational talk from golfer Tiger Woods to thank for that.
Les has just had ‘The Prodigal Son’ published and a second book will be released later this year.
He follows in the footsteps of fellow Winchester Rotarian, who has published a children’s book called ‘A Cat Called Smokey’, to raise funds for the Winchester & District Carers. Read more about this story here.
The book showcases hand-drawn illustrations from Allen Edwards, who is also a member of Winchester Rotary.
Les has just had ‘The Prodigal Son’ published and a second book will be released later this year.”
Les and wife Val moved to Hampshire eight years ago, but Les’s background is not steeped in literature, but in the oil and gas industry.
“I witnessed a great deal of poverty, homelessness and lack of infrastructure in places like West Africa, Central and Latin America,” he reflected.
“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write a novel and I started to put some ideas together while travelling for work.
“I spent many long hours in airport lounges and hotel bedrooms where the only language on most television channels was Portuguese, Arabic, or some other mother tongue which I did not understand.
“That was when ‘The Prodigal Son’ started to take shape.”
The book is an action-hero novel in the style of best-selling author Andy McNab, featuring the central character, Rob MacLaine, a seasoned, battle-hardened ex-Special Forces soldier.
Les wrote Rob MacLaine’s story over a two-year period, gradually putting the pieces together until the book was complete.
“I have a really competitive streak in me and, having written the book, I then started to wonder if I could get it published,” he added.
“That started a tedious round of submissions to agents and publishers till I eventually got bored and gave up.
“A few months later I was watching the late night news and heard Tiger Woods being interviewed having just won the US Masters.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to write a novel and I started to put some ideas together while travelling for work.
“He recalled how the media pundits and other golfers were suggesting that his career was over and that he should just retire. Fortunately, he felt that he still had it in him to win tournaments and refused to call it a day.
“That motivated me to start contacting publishers again and eventually I found someone who agreed to publish not only ‘The Prodigal Son’, but the follow up, which I had started working on.”
The publishers have subtitled ‘The Prodigal Son’ as ‘Rob MacLaine Book 1 and later this year, Rob’s story will continue in ‘The Good Samaritan.
Les was President of Winchester Rotary from 2018/19 which raised £40,000 for the new Winchester hospice, and he said he enjoys being part of the organisation.
He added: “When I finished a major contract, I decided that I wanted to try to give something back to a world that had been very good to me.
When I finished a major contract, I decided that I wanted to try to give something back to a world that had been very good to me.
“I wasn’t conceited enough to think that Les Haswell could make a noticeable difference to the world. But, I could join an organisation that does change the lives of vulnerable people who are unable to improve their own lives or those of their families.
“Rotary has also given me the opportunity to be involved in local fund-raisers and I have formed the new friendships and acquaintances that I wanted. Both Val and I regularly attend social functions locally.”
You can get hold of a copy of ‘The Prodigal Son’ here.