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The Next Big Bestseller – Written at Sunrise of Chorleywood?

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Two individuals prove that talent can flourish at any age 

Two writers based at Sunrise of Chorleywood are proving that it is never too late to pursue one’s passions. Patrick Maher, the care home’s Community Maintenance Support Assistant, and Lee Robinson, a 93-year-old resident at Sunrise of Chorleywood and published poet, have been mentoring each other and the community’s residents in a weekly creative writing circle.

Patrick, who is 51 and the author of three self-published books – with the most recent one published only last month – immediately bonded with fellow writer Lee as soon as Lee moved into Sunrise six years ago. Quickly realising their shared passion for storytelling, Patrick and Lee launched a regular creative writing circle to share feedback and constructive criticism with other residents with writerly ambitions.

Patrick’s immense passion for writing meant that he wrote his most recent novel in the early hours of the morning and late at night, while keeping up his busy day job at Sunrise of Chorleywood – waking up at 5am most days to write before work.

According to Patrick, Lee provided him with not only a means to write – a battered old laptop held together by Sellotape – but with invaluable feedback, reading Patrick’s latest chapters every weekend and returning them with comments on Monday morning.

Lee, who is himself a published poet, has also relied on Patrick’s help, who guided him through the process of self-publishing and helped Lee promote his poetry.

The weekly creative writing group at Sunrise of Chorleywood, attended by other literary aficionados, sees residents write short stories during the week and then read them to the group for feedback. Patrick and Lee hope that their story may be an inspiration to anyone wanting to pursue their long-hidden talents or aspirations, whatever their age.

Lee’s poetry collection Only Yesterday, Patrick’s latest novel The Clockwork Map, and his earlier novel Millie Pondhopper and the Great Book of Congic are all available on Amazon.co.uk.

Asked for his advice for budding writers, Patrick said:

“My experience over the last few years at Sunrise of Chorleywood proves that anyone can pick up or develop a talent at any age, as long as they have enthusiasm and determination behind them.

“It has been an honour to be able to share my passion with likeminded residents. My latest novel was published only last month, but I haven’t been able to resist starting the next one already!”

Julie Woolf, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Chorleywood, said:

“It has been a delight to witness Patrick and Lee’s collaboration and friendship over the last six years. Their story shows that age is never a limit – you can pursue your passion no matter how old you are.

“The whole community here at Chorleywood are completely behind Patrick in the publishing of his latest novel, and we made sure to celebrate the occasion in style!”

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