A North Newington author who took inspiration for his characters’ names from Banburyshire villages is enjoying five-star reviews on Amazon.
Alex Dawson has recently published Aquinas, which is a pacy modern-day thriller about an escaped serial killer, corrupt politician and jaded police detective.
Many of the book’s character names feature villages such as Wroxton and Horley.
Mr Dawson, who was an international headhunter for 15 years before writing the book, said: “I always thought about how the name Newington sounded quite old-fashioned and authoritative.
“So when I needed to give a name to the stuffy head of MI5 in my new book, Newington was the obvious choice.
“One of the traditional methods authors use to create the names of their characters is to walk around graveyards, reading the headstones for inspiration.
“But I found that looking at local place signs there was plenty of great surnames just staring me in the face. “ Aquinas is already rated five-stars despite only being on internet retailer Amazon for about three weeks.
Mr Dawson is also hoping to include readers in a sequel to Aquinas by asking them to guess how many Oxfordshire place names there are within the text of the story.
If readers can spot exactly how many place names there are within the text of the story they will have the chance of having their names immortalised in the sequel to Aquinas.
They can also choose if they want to be a baddie, goodie or a corpse.
The 38-year-old said: “There was many people asking if they could be in it and that got me thinking.
“I heard about a charity auction where people could bid to have their names used as future characters in Downton Abbey.
“My idea doesn’t involve bidding but, if my readers can count how many place names there are and email me the correct answer, I’ll pick a handful of correct entries and write the names into my next story,” he added.
Aquinas is available for £1.99 at amazon.co.uk and can be viewed on a wide range of devices including PC, Mac, tablet, and smartphones.
If you want to have a go at guessing how many place names are included in the book, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org