A TRAVEL lodge employee’s childhood aspiration has turned him into a published author with his science fiction adventure novel.

Phil Hancox, who works on the night shift at the Middlewich Travel Lodge, has written his first futuristic space adventure story Novabird.

Mr Hancox said: “I always wanted to write, ever since I was a kid.

“I’ve always been passionate about space since around the age of 10 and had childhood aspirations to be an astronaut.”

Born in Winsford, Mr Hancox began writing in 2014 and wrote the initial chapters for his daughter Seren, 18. This later promoted him to continue the story until he had a completed manuscript.

The 43-year-old added: “Novabird is a work of fiction in the sci-fi genre, which I believe would especially appeal to fans of the Red Dwarf series and the cult Firefly/Serenity programmes, due to the books gritty nature and humour.”

The novel is set in a system at risk from a dying star that has reached supernova. A freelance pilot is tasked with assisting in the biggest evacuation in human history, with billions of people in need of rescue. Along the way he encounters horrendous flying conditions, treacherous bureaucracy, hostile forces and a race against time.

The former Woodford Lodge High School pupil said: “I wanted to focus on the human side in a story set during a time of chaos.”

Speaking of his characters, Mr Hancox added: “Characters are the most important thing. If you don’t care about your characters, your story won’t move forward.

“I was lucky to have a qualified astro-physicist, an ex-RAF fast jet pilot and qualified maintenance engineer among a small group of friends and family who read through the rough manuscript.

“I believe this helped to give the plot a gritty realistic feel.

“It is my first effort at writing, and with a follow up novel in the pipeline, hopefully not my last.” Mr Hancox is also a musician and plays guitar and the drums.

The book Novabird is available on Amazon books and is expected to be categorised next Wednesday.