A BUDDING author's new book has been likened to the works of the legendary J R Tolkien.

Sean Carter, who lives in Stanley Road, Halstead, has finally finished writing his book, The Simal, having first started writing it 15 years ago.

The 489,134-word novel has hit the shelves in bookshops and has been getting raved-reviews, with some even comparing it to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Mr Carter’s book, which is his first to be published, is set in a time when the earth was still one super continent called Pangaea.

He has created a fictional world based around an artefact called ‘The Simal’ that is said to contain the knowledge and secrets of the universe.

The novel follows a priestess called Janora who steals the artefact from a heavily guarded temple in an attempt to get it to safety and out of the reach of evil hands who do all they can to hunt her down.

Speaking about his inspiration for the novel, Mr Carter, who is 51, said: “I was sitting in my study one day, writing a dissertation for a degree I was doing.

“I was in deep thought and pondering some weighty questions when an idea came into my mind.

"What value would an artefact have if it contained all of the secrets and knowledge of the universe? My imagination took over and I wrote the first chapter, in draft form, of the book.”

Mr Carter’s dedication to completing his novel saw him leave the Royal Navy in 2014 following six years of service in an attempt free him up and create more time for writing.

He relocated to Halstead where he became part-time minister at the Baptist Church, in Hedingham Road, and he now appears to have found a better balance in his life between work and writing.

He added: "I actually finished a draft version of the story in 2014 but it took a long time to get it all fully completed.

"I was able to do quite a bit of writing when I was at sea with the Navy but found I would go weeks and months without working on the book.

"The reaction to it so far has been really positive. Tolkien is one of my literary heroes so to have been compared to him by people has been very special."

Mr Carter has already started work on a sequel to his novel and is hopeful he will finish writing it next year.

He is currently Chairman of Trustees for the Rivers of Life charity shop in Halstead High Street and volunteers there on Wednesdays.

Mr Carter is offering to sign any purchased copies of his book in the shop and is now planning organised book signings around the county next year.

The book is published by FeedARead and is available on Amazon.