Essex vet has children’s novel published

FIVE years since he started writing his first novel, an equine veterinary surgeon is celebrating its publication.

Felsted resident Ben Portus, a partner at Paton and Lee Equine Veterinary Clinic in Witham, has been getting up at 4am every weekday since 2007 to write The Last Ark.

Mr Portus described the book as a fast, action-packed adventure story for readers aged 10 and above, although it is also suitable for adults.

“I am thrilled to have the novel published as an ebook because after all the hard work – re-writing, editing, revising and chopping – I feel it’s now ready to be out there,” he said.

“The most exciting part is the brilliant feedback The Last Ark has received. Until people start reading it, it was impossible to know if the book was any good.

“People are saying they can’t put it down, and that’s exactly what I hoped to write... a page-turning adventure.”

The Last Ark centres around 13-year-old Sammy Twice, a normal child – or that is what adults always tell him – until his mum gets abducted in the dead of night.

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Then everything changes forever.

Sammy has a hidden past.

His home, his parents, even the person he is: they are all a lie.

Mr Portus said: “The basic idea for The Last Ark came many years ago.

“I have a very scientific mind and I have always wanted to make sense of the stories I learnt as a child, including Bible stories like Noah’s Ark.

“I started to imagine what a real ark might be like, and from it a great adventure grew, in which my ark – the last ark – is a terrifying reality created.

“Sammy Twice is thrown into a world of excitement and danger, but ultimately he has to make a choice: is the ark a good thing or should it be destroyed?”

Despite his busy schedule and the completion of his first novel, Mr Portus is still up at the crack of dawn each day as he writes his second book.

The Last Ark is available to download from Amazon at �3.18.

It has received shining reviews with readers saying it is a “cracking read” and they “couldn’t put it down”.

A full biography and further information about The Last Ark can be found at

There, the first two chapters of the book are available to read for free.