A NOVELIST with roots in Andover has penned his first set of books, telling a story more than 60 years in the making.

Lee Conway, 65, recently released the first instalment of his Sacred Path series, a set of books that he describes as 75 per cent true. Although, he quips, others may consider it 75 per cent fantasy.

The story beings with a “tramautic” event the main character suffers, and one that was inspired by an incident in Lee’s own life.

“It’s very traumatic,” he said. “I don’t want to give much away but that’s a very big part of the book.”

“At the age of two the main character undergoes a very traumatic experience and a spiritual connection saves him.”

The story has a strong local theme to the Andover area – where Lee grew up having lived in Weyhill and then Thruxton from the age of nine.

“The first book is all based in Andover and the surrounding villages,” he said.

“It covers the schools, the town, the villages, the pubs. And there’s a lot of real characters in there.

“People who’ve passed away now but there are some names that people will recognise.”

The tale marks Lee’s first foray into the world of writing. By his own admission he’s “not very academic” and didn’t attend college or university.

But after gathering a wealth of source material, he suddenly reached a point where he was ready to take the plunge and put pen to paper.

He added: “Over the years I bagged up lots of little notes of things that were happening to me and to others. Eventually, 40 years later, I emptied the bags and thought, ‘this is where I start.’

“The rest of it came naturally. I can’t say how but that is the profound thing about this book. I’m not very academic, I’m not the kind of person you would think would be a writer.”

Having bitten the bullet, Lee has challenged others to do the same.

“My advice would be just follow your heart and give it a go,” he said.

“If it’s in your heart, urging you to do it, follow your heart. Always. What have you got to lose, really?

“Even if you do it and don’t get published, sometimes it’s just cathartic to do it.

“Whatever happens it’s a very profound, enlightening process.”

Lee’s books are available now online. Go to amazon.co.uk and search ‘Sacred Path Lee Conway’ to find out more.