Medical researcher finds cure for storytelling itch

By Laurilee McMichael

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Doug Wilson says after a long career in medical research, it's now time to tell the stories. Photo / Laurilee McMichael
Doug Wilson says after a long career in medical research, it's now time to tell the stories. Photo / Laurilee McMichael

In his day job he's Professor Doug Wilson, highly qualified medical researcher who jets around the world consulting to international companies working to develop new drugs.

But when he's off duty he takes on a whole new persona - Doug Wilson, Taupo-based novelist, storyteller and creator of Thomas Erkel-Erkel Fart-Ball Hassler, the fiction hero Mr Wilson hopes will come to rival Harry Potter.

Mr Wilson's always loved telling stories, but at 76, he's taking the plunge and self-publishing two Tom Hassler novels, with two more already written and almost ready to release. Aimed at children aged 8 to 12, Tom's first adventure, Tom Hassler and the Rats of Droolmoan Cave is a story Mr Wilson originally wrote for a young friend.

The pace is fast, and the book's timeless theme of good versus evil helps keep the pages turning.

Sporting striking covers, illustrated by Taupo artist Donovan Bixley, the first two books are being released in New Zealand on Monday.

Mr Wilson said although he wrote a lot of scientific articles, he loved storytelling and never struggled to come up with ideas for his own tales.

"I think you start the stories and the stories take over after that," he said.

"The first one came up in about five minutes after talking to a boy called Tom."

Mr Wilson has lived all over the world, including in Saudi Arabia and outside New York, but he and his wife moved to Taupo permanently 10 years ago. He had always wanted to be a novelist but was dyslexic and couldn't write properly or spell. Computers and word-processing software changed all that.

He is publishing the first two books under his own imprint, Erkel-Erkel Publishing.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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