Days of childhood captured in literary debut

Paul Dixon, of Staindrop Road, Newton Hall, with his first book titled Two Rubber Souls.
Paul Dixon, of Staindrop Road, Newton Hall, with his first book titled Two Rubber Souls.
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A HIGHWAYS officer is on the road to literary success after penning his first novel.

Paul Dixon has published his debut book after spending nearly four years writing the story in his spare time.

He has used his memories of a happy childhood growing up in Durham during the mid-80s as the backdrop for a tale with a dark side.

Two Rubber Souls, a title taken from his lead character’s love of The Beatles, is available through international online bookshop Amazon and as an ebook download.

The tale sees the main character finding salvation from feuding parents, bullies, a crush and the aftermath of an moment of madness through an American singer.

It has entered Amazon’s charts, being placed just under 32,000th position in its best-selling list of 900,000 books.

Washington-born Paul, who graduated from Sunderland University with a masters in film and cultural studies in 1999, has already set to work on its sequel.

The 41-year-old, who also spent some of his early years living in Sunderland, said: “I’ve been writing it for the last three to four years and it’s just one of these things where you think ‘if I don’t do it now, I probably never will’.

“I think it was a matter of writing about my own life now I have my own children, and the memories they could read back.

“Most of it is trying to reflect the times of the mid-80s as I remember it then, but parts of it are fantasy.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to get the paperback in your hands that you have written.

“People’s feedback so far has been really positive and it’s quite heartening.”

Paul, who is married to Lesley, now lives on Durham’s Newton Hall estate, with their children James, nine, and Rebecca, 15.

Paul, a technical assistant based in the highways department at County Hall in Durham, added: “I think because I spent so long doing it, they were used to me locking myself away in the bedroom to write and hopefully will be quite impressed.”

Paul has set up a playlist to accompany the book as a soundtrack to the story. The playlist, excerpts and more information are available on

Twitter: @EchoEastDurham