A MALDON author whose novel could be turned into a television series or film is feeling "delighted" after the screenplay for it has received numerous accolades.

Patrick Forsyth, from Maldon, has penned more than ten books which have been translated into 24 languages.

Four of his novels are set in Maldon, with ordinary people caught up in mystery or crime.

Patrick, who writes fiction, non-fiction, travel, business, and humour books, released Once a Thief, in November 2021.

Author - Patrick Forsyth with his novel, Once a ThiefAuthor - Patrick Forsyth with his novel, Once a Thief (Image: Patrick Forsyth)

It follows protagonist Tracy Hines, an individual struggling to find her place, who has her life changed by whilst undertaking a locksmith apprenticeship as she brushes with criminal acts.

In April, it was revealed that a screenplay of Once a Thief had been written by Benita Cullingford and won the best first-time feature writer script at the Berlin International Film Festival.

It has also now won the Best UK Screenplay award at the Cambridge Script Festival 2024 and been shortlisted at film festivals in New York, LA, Amsterdam, and a further category in Berlin.

Patrick said: “I am delighted, any author likes to hear a story goes down well but this is unprecedented, even I am beginning to think it is a good tale.

Creative - Patrick ForsythCreative - Patrick Forsyth (Image: Patrick Forsyth)

“There may still be a way to go before the television needs to be set to record, but meantime the original book remains available, locally in Maldon Books at the top of the High Street.

“Any writer loves positive feedback, even one book sold and appreciated is satisfying.

“Like a good review these awards are great, exciting and frankly unexpected and unprecedented, yet I know that it is an uncertain road to there being any kind of film, so I am trying to be realistic.

“Nevertheless, it reflects well on the book, even I am beginning to believe it must be a pretty good tale.”

book - the cover artwork for Once a Thiefbook - the cover artwork for Once a Thief (Image: Patrick Forsyth)

The screenwriter, Benita Cullingford, originally purchased a copy of the book and liked it so much that she decided it would be good material for a script.

After a conversation between the pair, Patrick signed a contract in March last year which allowed his novel to be turned into a screenplay.

He said: “Signing a contract just to allow that to happen was exciting in itself.

“The awards mean the screenplay is now visible within the film industry so, with luck, a production company may now want to take an interest.

“Getting published is a lottery, so too is getting visibility for a book, but if a film was made the book would no doubt be in every shop in the land.”

Once a Thief is available at Maldon Books on the High Street.