A DREAM has come true for a former Cheshire firefighter.

Richard McGrorey has always longed to become an author.

The 56-year-old completed his first book 10 years ago and never gave up hope that one day it would be published.

After sending the manuscript to countless editors without success, his perseverance finally paid off.

Knutsford Guardian: Richard McGrorey has always longed to become an authorRichard McGrorey has always longed to become an author (Image: Richard McGrorey)

“I had always been quite determined,” said Richard, from Knutsford.

“One day I was sure I’d get someone who wanted to publish it.

“I’ve always wanted to write a book. I enjoy writing stories.”

Knutsford Guardian: Richard McGrorey and wife MelRichard McGrorey and wife Mel (Image: Richard McCrorey)

Richard said he never liked school and left at 16 with only a few qualifications.

However, his burning desire to see his name in print never left him.

His romantic thriller ‘The Dying Embers’ features Tommy Ferguson, a 40-year-old firefighter.

“They say you should always write about something you know about,” said Richard, who served with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service for 20 years.

“I loved the job, helping people, especially working in my community where I was brought up.

“I felt pride in what I was doing.”

But rather than flaming the embers of fires, his fictional book focuses on the burning embers of anguish caused by unbridled passion, infatuation and marital infidelity.

Tommy, the main character, is tormented by fears that his wife Louise is having an affair.

Fuelled with jealousy, he becomes increasingly obsessed with checking her movements and phone calls.

He uncovers evidence that she is seeing an older man.

Tommy believes his in-laws are conniving to persuade their daughter to leave him for the more distinguished Percy, a physiotherapist.

Depicted as ‘one of the lads’, Tommy appears to enjoy banter with his mates, but his unwavering devotion to his wife and two children is all that matters.

As the drama unfolds, readers will discover whether he succeeds in convincing Louise that his unrequited love remains stronger than ever or he becomes consumed with ‘the dark mist enveloping him’.

“Tommy starts as a strong-minded character but ends up not in control of himself sometimes,” said Richard.

“Some incidents in the book are a bit hairy and risky. I put some dark humour in it.

“You don’t know what the outcome is going to be until the end.”

Knutsford Guardian: Front cover of 'The Dying Embers'Front cover of 'The Dying Embers' (Image: Richard McCrorey)

Richard’s own life took an unpredictable turn when he retired.

“It was always my ambition to get a camper van and travel and write stories,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting to have two children but that has added to the adventure.”

Knutsford Guardian: Richard McGrorey with wife Mel, baby son and dogs Richard McGrorey with wife Mel, baby son and dogs (Image: Richard McGrorey)

Richard and wife, Mel, continue to travel with sons Thomas, four, and baby Alex.

“My wife speaks fluent Spanish and German,” said Richard. “We want to see as much of the world as we can.

“We’ve already visited 17 countries. We’ve been through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, all round France and into Spain.”

Plans for a second book are already in the pipeline.

“My friends are really happy for me, some can’t believe it,” said Richard.

“I’m quite proud of myself, it’s another achievement.”

‘The Dying Embers’ is available on Amazon.