New novel from former Whitchurch man

By Charlotte Bentley | Whitchurch | North Shropshire entertainment | Published:

A former Whitchurch resident has released his debut novel, five years after the idea for the plot first came to him on holiday.

Paul Diggory has released his debut novel, Outside Lola’s

Paul Diggory, who used to live in Whitchurch and also represented Shropshire in rugby, has written his debut novel, Outside Lola’s, which is an uplifting contemporary romantic comedy set in Andalucia in the summer of 2018.

"The idea came to me on holiday when I saw an incident on the beach and jotted down the plot in a notebook on the flight home," said Paul.

Unable to act on it because of work commitments, the idea stayed in his notes for five years before he was in a position to develop them into a story.

"Even then, there were delays when my wife broke her ankle, then five months later fractured her other leg. But eventually, with support and encouragement, the story was finished and now it’s out."

The story tells the tale of a man who is made redundant just as his marriage fizzles out, so he goes to Spain to stay with an old friend. But when two Spaniards come into his life, his holiday takes an unexpected direction. The story plays out to a backdrop of Almeria’s cinematic heritage and Andalucian history, culture and landscape.

Paul describes the novel as an optimistic story of relationships, of recovery and discovery – sometimes poignant, often darkly humorous, it highlights the way our lives are shaped by chance.

"I thought it might make a good choice for holiday reading but that’s been scuppered for now," Paul said. "Andalucia is a region I love and so the book includes some great locations. In fact, the novel has enough attractions, beaches, restaurants and cafés to easily fill a holiday."

Paul was born in Whitchurch, attended Sir John Talbot’s Grammar School and played rugby for Whitchurch, also representing Shropshire. He is a former housing association chief executive who was elected President of the Chartered Institute of Housing in 2007-08 and who received the Outstanding Contribution to Housing in Wales Award 2015.

His first jobs in housing after leaving school were with Wrekin Council and Telford Development Corporation.

The book is on sale now in paperback through the major retailers like Amazon, Waterstones, FeedARead and Book Depository, and in ebook format through Amazon.

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at

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