Former Redditch Advertiser sports editor publishes his first novel

A FORMER Redditch Advertiser sportswriter publishes a novel set in a fictionalized version of the town.

Max Hall’s Heathens tells the stories of the lives of people working in the warehouses and factories of the fictional town of Sedgemere Heath in the Black Country.

Set against the backdrop of the pubs and social clubs of Stourbridge in the Black Country, where its author grew up, the book is a collection of short stories tied together by the escapades of a group of unlikely heroes.

Fuzz is welcomed into her professional life by Roy, a man who claims to have been a secret agent, world-class footballer and rock star before finding himself among the pens and protractors of a stationery depot. Lea’s suspicions about voice-activated technology are confirmed when he opens a direct channel to the most unlikely recipients and Pete dreams of riches as he pans for gold in the shadow of closed smelters.

The book cover for Heathens. Image by Phil Loach

Heathens is a story of struggle, growth and the importance of holding on to your dreams. But above all, it’s about the never-ending battle to secure an elusive blue palette, said Max, 47.

Born in Wordsley and brought up in pubs and clubs run by his parents in and around Stourbridge, Max worked in warehouses to help pay for his college education and, after a stint at the former Stuart Crystal glassworks, he embarked on a career in journalism.

His print career took him to Stourbridge, Halesowen and Dudley News, Redditch Advertiser and Birmingham Post and Mail before moving on to titles in Wales and Surrey and a role as deputy editor on The Independent.

Redditch Announcer: Max Hallmax room

Since 2019, he lives in Genoa, in northern Italy, with his wife Elsa.

Heathens is serialized weekly on the website and can be found by searching Heathens and #BlackCountry.

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