Maz’s tale hooks in readers

An author is aiming high with her debut story – she wants it to be the best-selling book written by somebody of her age.

Maz with her debut book
Maz with her debut book

Maz Thomas, from Forton, near Shrewsbury, turned 81 just before Christmas and has been told that her book “My Big Magic Fish” has sold out twice on Amazon.

Billed as a family-friendly story, it tells of a boy who gets more than he bargains for when he goes fishing at a pond close to his nan’s home.

“I used to go into Welshpool on the bus to go shopping and saw this big open pool with young men fishing.

“This dirty old pool stuck in my mind,” said Maz, who lived in Arddleen, at the time

While that was the inspiration, it was a personal misfortune which got her writing the book.”

She added: “I fell and broke my hip and shoulder. I was outside the fish and chip shop in Llansantffraid and slipped on some mud.”

The result was a couple of spells in hospital and time on her hands during her recovery.

“When I got home I thought I can’t just sit here,” she said. “I started scribbling page after page after page.”

And so the book was born. Maz said: “I am very proud of my first book.

“I have been told it is a lovely story of a little boy.

My Big Magic Fish by Maz Thomas

“My husband sub-edited it, but sadly passed away in May 2019 and never did see the finished book.”

Maz had married husband Bill, who served 22 years in the Royal Navy, when she was 19.

Bill himself became an author and a poet and they had five children.

Known by everyone as Maz, her first name is Marian, and her maiden name was Jourey.

While Jourey is a Cornish name reflecting wider family links to that county, she was born in the Rossendale Valley, Lancashire, and left school aged 15 to work in the cotton mills before moving into the sewing trade.

Maz added: “I’m 81 now and was trying to be the bestselling author of my age for 2020.

“I don’t know if I am because they won’t tell me how many I have sold yet.

“Children love it. I’ve been told that Amazon has sold out twice.”

“My Big Magic Fish” is published by Austin Macauley Publishers and costs £7.99.

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