Hack turned council PR man pens racy novel - about hack turned council PR man

The comms manager at a Kent council has published his debut novel, a tale of sex, scandal, intrigue, politics and death whose central character's career mirrors that of his PR man author.

Debutant novelist Cole and the front cover of his work
Debutant novelist Cole and the front cover of his work

Graham Cole, who worked on a number of Kent local newspapers and has been comms manager at Gravesham Borough Council since 2006, told PRWeek that he had been working on The Last Punter, which was published in July, since November last year.

The synopsis of the book describes it as the story of Gary Clarke, who had "been a journalist for decades but had jumped the fence and ran the public relations department of a large local council".

The synopsis goes on to say: "His working life was much simpler now. But his private life was complicated. His lover sold her day by the hour - he had fallen in love with a call girl. Out of the blue, his two worlds collided. What followed was scandal, intrigue and death."

In a LinkedIn post, Cole described the book as a "short beach read", and acknowledged that its protagonist was "a character who could (almost) be me (but with a more interesting life)". He also wrote: "I'm a little worried that lots of people will see themselves in this novel and be, in turn, flattered and then horrified."

He told PRWeek that his 190-page debut work – available as an e-book or in paperback form via Amazon platform CreateSpace – had sold "a couple of hundred copies" since publication.

  • Competition: Cole kindly agreed to send one lucky PRWeek reader a copy of The Last Punter. Entrants were invited to sendus their contact details by the end of Friday, 4 September, and the winner was Louise Powney, a communications officer at Liverpool City Council.

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