From leaving school with no formal education, joining the army, becoming a journalist, a near-death experience in Spain to now publishing two crime novels, Mayo native Michael Scanlon’s life experience has been nothing if not interesting.

And for those interested in crime novels, Scanlon’s name is one that people will be hearing more of in the coming years. Picked up by publisher Bookouture in early 2018, he has released two novels this year – both receiving positive reviews and with sales topping 7,000, a third book is expected in 2020. However in 2014, his establishment in the literary world was a distant dream for the Ballina man. A chain of unfortunate events left him on death’s door and in hospital in Tarragona, Spain for three months in late 2014. When he returned to Ireland, he spent a further six weeks in hospital in Castlebar and London. The condition remains unknown, but writing proved a saving grace for the then 53-year-old.