A former police officer from Hazelwood is enjoying a new lease of life as a writer and publisher after standing up for what was right led him to virtual destitution.
Father of two, James Patrick, lost his job with the Metropolitan Police in 2014 after blowing the whistle on the manipulation of crime statistics that was then being practiced by the London force.
As a result of the turmoil, James lost his marriage and then his first business before turning to writing - and then publishing - in order to turn his life around.
He said: “We have been doing really well so far - we’ve sold over 100 in first four days.
“We’ve only got two books out at the moment but we’ll be open for more submissions in October and I’ll be publishing my police memoir in November as well.”
The two books James’ publishing house - Cynefin Road - has published so far are his own debut novel, ‘Forever Completely’, and a children’s book written by another Derbyshire author, Stephanie Shields.
James describes his own book as a love story gone wrong set in Cornwall featuring zombies and witchcraft.
“I had a blast writing it and it is really what saved my life,” says James.
“It was that, through the dark days, that kept me going.
“I wrote the rough draft for it in two weeks, showed it to someone and they said, ‘you’ve got something here’.”
James says he has enjoyed writing since he was at school - seeing it as an escape from everyday life.
But he is now not just interested in pushing his own creativity - as a publisher he wants to help bring others up as well.
“The publishing industry can be very selfish,” he says.
“I’m interested in writing and publishing books that maybe wouldn’t be considered by mainstream publishing.
“J.K. Rowling got rejected hundreds of times before being accepted so it just goes to show what you can achieve.”
One of the things he is most proud of so far is Cynefin Road’s children’s book - The Star Princess And The Kitchen Witch - which was illustrated by Cameron and Jessica Patrick - James’ two children.
So, despite starting 2016 at ‘rock bottom’, James is finishing it feeling more positive about the future than he has for quite some time.
And when he is asked about his varied career and recent misfortunes, he remains philosophical.
“I have no regrets - things have worked out in the end.”
Whistleblower turned writer...
James was brought up in Hazelwood and attended William Gilbert Primary, Duffield, The Ecclesbourne School and Duffield Secondary.
He joined Derbyshire Constabulary in 2004, where he served the Derby community of Pear Tree for five years.
After transferring to the Metropolitan Police, James caused a national storm by highlighting the manipulation of crime figures which led to a parliamentary inquiry. As a result of this - and despite being praised by a senior politician for his actions - James claims he was ‘hounded out’ of the force and resigned in 2014.
After then losing his first business - a pub which he ran after leaving the police - and being left destitute at the beginning of this year, James built Cynefin Road out of nothing.
‘Forever Completely’ and ‘The Star Princess and the Kitchen Witch’ are available online.
For more information about Cynefin Road, visit https://cynefinroad.wordpress.com.