A FORMER marine turned published author has written his first fiction novel based on his struggles in civvy street.
Hartlepool man Alan Price, 47, wore his heart on his sleeve when he wrote two hard-hitting books about his time in the Royal Marines and trying to fit back into society.
His latest offering, Wasted Resource, is about a group of four former soldiers who end up using their fighting skills for all the wrong reasons.
It is something Alan admits knowing a thing or two about as he was “close to the edge” when he came out of the forces and ended up being shot at on the border of Morocco, getting involved in a Filipino scam and fighting in a Thai boxing ring.
But with the support of his wife, Lesley, 49, he is now a high-flying IT manager at Northern Rock after working all over the world and is a dad to Gareth, 17, and Craig, 15.
Alan, 47, of The Links, Seaton Carew, said: “This brings together a lot of my experiences and those of others who have found it hard to adapt.
“When I left, I thought I was tired of living on a knife-edge, but it was just the beginning. Luckily I have had support and have been able to use the skills I have developed to write these books and work hard to forge a career.
“I feel I have been able to tell my story, but really it’s our story. It’s about the Marines. Indirectly I’m a messenger.”
His first book, Amongst the Marines: The Untold Story, includes incidents of bullying, drunkenness and violence, and was met by shock in some quarters about the extremes of life in the unit.
His second, Always a Marine: The Return to Civvy Street, was written to explain how he changed as a person and adapted back into society, fighting a fearsome reputation along the way.
Alan, who writes under the pseudonym Steven Preece, said: “There was a moment when I knew I had to change. I was walking along Seaton Front and I saw a guy I served with but he crossed the road when he saw me.
“I ran over to him and asked why and he said ‘because you’re unstable’. I knew then that things were going to have to be different.
“I’m not the same man that was in the Marine’s and people I meet are surprised when they find out by background, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“It is a fantastic experience and was everything I wanted as a boy growing up, but if you’re thinking about joining, you need to really want it because it’s tough.”