NEW HORIZONS: Barry Waters used to contribute poems to the magazines behind him, but now he smiles at the launch of his debut novel

A NEW expat novel about London’s gritty criminal underbelly has been taking the Costa del Sol by storm and is available just in time for Christmas.

“It’s gang warfare, romance and humour with a little bit of sex thrown in,” the book’s author Barry Waters told The Olive Press.

Barry, 63, from Newcastle, is happily retired in Manilva where he has lived with his wife Louise, 65, for five years.

CRIMINAL: The journey through London’s criminal underworld is critically acclaimed on Amazon and Google Play

It is the first novel from the British expat, who had previously focused on poetry, short stories and playing his guitar.

As well as being a writer with a license to thrill, Barry is also one of the Costa del Sol’s licensed boat skippers.

The Geordie author took his inspiration from a string of ‘less savoury’ pubs he used to frequent in Camberwell and Peckham.

“I saw vicious fights, bribery and bad arguments,” Barry said, “the police down there are all corrupt.”

The new novelist would sometimes write 1000 words a day, and despite spells of inevitable writer’s block, he always came back to the table to finish the next chapter.

“It is surprising how easy it was to write, it just flowed out,” said Barry, who was raised on a literary diet of Lee Child and books about the Kray Twins.

“My wife was very proud,” Barry added, “she’s backed me all the way and been very supportive.”

Barry also revealed that he is already ‘well into the sequel,’ and will even be taking inspiration for his follow-up from some of Manilva’s more unsavoury characters.

Until then, Destined for the Top is available at The Bookshop in Sabinillas and on Amazon.

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