A mix of Earth peril and rugby in Wigan author's new book
An Australian rugby league star, a British cancer sufferer heading Down Under on a final dream trip and an asteroid heading for the planet.
These are just some of the characters and situations which make up the unusual new novel by Wigan author and journalist Peter Aspinall.
Other news: Wigan high school to hold service in memory of former headteacherTwo Weeks To Live tells the tale of George Longworth, who is told his illness is terminal and decides to head to Australia with his family and his apparently-psychic St Bernard dog.
George is also aware of the disastrous peril that the Earth is placed in, and finds that an NRL superstar who is also a member of the Aboriginal community is also in the know about the threat of the asteroid.
As events accelerate rapidly the visitors from Britain find they could be the ones who can save the world from destruction beyond imagination and ensure everyone has more than two weeks to live.
Peter, who lives in Appley Bridge and worked on the sports desk of the Wigan Post for many years, says Two Weeks To Live’s high-concept thrill ride with elements of sci-fi is very different to his rather comic debut novel.
However, he says that by bringing together some of his numerous interests and passions he has been able to create a fairly novel premise for the book.
He said: “This one has a bit more gravitas than my first book. I got the idea from two sources: reading a science book about asteroids and the threat they pose to this planet and our civilisation, and watching Australian rugby league.
“I really enjoy watching the Aboriginal players, so I did some research about the sacred sites and how they could read the night sky and identify movements of the planets and also asteroids coming.
“It’s a strange amalgamation, but I thought I could link these things together and produced this.
“There’s this ordinary English family with the father suffering from cancer. The son has a friend in America he talks to on Skype and he tells him the asteroid is coming towards us, and one of the highest-profile NRL players is Aboriginal and has come across the asteroid too.
“It all comes together and the story unfolds from there.
“It isn’t all doom and gloom, it does have its humorous side and moments of comedy. I like to think it’s character-driven, I enjoy creating characters who are credible and interesting.”
Peter says Two Weeks To Live has already had excellent feedback from people he knows, but the reading public will have to wait until the end of August to get their hands on the book.
In the meantime, Peter is busily working on this third fictional creation and says he is once again looking to write something different.
He said: “I’m going to write a first-person piece about teaching, based on my wife’s career. I try to vary things.
“I’ve actually written another comedy book which I’ve nearly finished. Sorting that out will be my next project and then I will start the new one.”
Two Weeks To Live, by Peter Aspinall, is released on August 28 and will be available to buy at www.troubadour.co.uk/bookshop