AN Alcester author who has struggled with dyslexia his whole life is set to release his second book.

John Crawshaw has battled with the effects of dyslexia throughout his life and says he never read a book before writing his first novel in 2022.

His first book, The Swing follows the journey of lovers Charlotte and Peter who embark on a love affair before facing the obstacles of falling in love across the class divide.

John, aged 53, is now set to officially release his second book called The View Beyond on Friday, May 27.

‘'At school, I was often referred to as being thick or useless,” said John.

“Reading and writing didn’t come naturally to me like all of the other children in the class.

“I didn’t receive any support from my teachers, I was just assumed to be of a lower intelligence level than everyone else.

“It was only later in my life that I was diagnosed as dyslexic and really began to understand the challenges that I faced my whole life.’’

John said even though he has written two novels he still gets nervous when asked to write something with a pen on paper and feels more comfortable using a laptop.

“I remember when I first came up with the idea for my first novel, The Swing, I realised that I had never actually read a book in my life and I definitely hadn’t ever written anything of any real substance,” said John.

“I took a trip to a local Waterstones to try and ‘suss out’ how other romance novels were being written.

“I was so nervous, that when anybody else came near to the romance section, I quickly scurried over to the maps and travel section which felt like the place society would expect me to be.’’

Before taking the plunge to become an author, John, who was born in Yorkshire established a successful tree surgery business and is renowned for his passion for the natural world.

John added: ‘’I have a real connection with trees and the natural world, whenever I need to clear my mind, I head outside and surround myself with beautiful countryside and natural surroundings.

“There is a genuine energy in trees that inspires me and readers of my books will notice my passion for trees within my works.

“Thankfully, as the owner of a business, my writing was initially a side hustle which has since become my overwhelming passion, but I am in a position where a proportion of the profits from the sales of my books are donated to tree planting and conservation projects.’’

John says his writing is inspired by his grandparents who after seventy years of marriage died within a couple of days of each other.

He said: “Their fondness for each other continues to inspire me every day and having been witness to their love for a substantial part of my life, I feel more than qualified to tell stories of romance and chivalry.’’

John is hosting a launch event for his new book at The Makers’ Space at Long Barn Village in Alcester on Friday, May 27.

To reserve a free ticket visit: