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Rosslare resident William (90) on a roll with the publication of his second novel

The Kirkwood Trilogy is set in his native South Africa


William Paterson Rosslare Strand

William Paterson Rosslare Strand

William Paterson Rosslare Strand

William Paterson Rosslare Strand


William Paterson Rosslare Strand


A 90-year old Rosslare resident is proving that age is no barrier to literary ambition after recently publishing the second novel in his Kirkwood Trilogy with the third book also completed and due to be released later this summer.

William Paterson, a native of South Africa is partially sighted due to cataracts and dictates his writing using Dragon technology which is then edited. “Writing keeps the mind whirring away. I would recommend it to anyone getting older”, he said.

His first book “The Snake in the Signal Box” was published by Amazon  in late 2019 and the second instalment “What Happened at Yonder” is now available in Wexford Book Centre and libraries throughout County Wexford as well as in Barnes and Noble outlets in America and Waterstones.

The third book “The Girl in the Summerhouse” will be released at the end of the summer and like the second novel, will be published through the entity Fish Eagle Books established by William and registered in Ireland.

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The Kirkwood Trilogy is set in the Natal  in the post-war years between 1919 and 1946 and was inspired by William’s time growing up in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The novels trace the fortunes of the Kirkwood family in the post-war years between 1919 and 1946, a span of years which saw massive international and local change.

Born in Durban, William lived with his parents, sister, servants and animals in an old colonial hilltop house with acres of garden overlooking the Umgeni River valley and the Indian Ocean. His father had fought in East Africa and went farming in Zululand before the Great Depression forced him to give up the farms.

William was went to Michaelhouse, a private boarding school in Natal midlands where he rubbed shoulders with Wilbur Smith, a contemporary, and other children whose fathers were away at war. By the time the second world war had ended, he was studying at the School of Art in Durban and then on scholarship in London. On his return, he joined the Natal Daily News and later the Friend Newspaper Group (founded by Rudyard Kipling) in Bloemfontein.

He spent the rest of his working years in the media, after studying Business Administration and reading for a Communications Degree at UNISA which led him to found a communications company in Johannesburg.

He and his wife Patricia have lived for several years in Rosslare Strand , where he spends his days researching and writing.  They chose to settle there  because of the “delightful people, proximity to the sea, Kelly’s Hotel and the pleasant village atmosphere.”

Coincidentally, Jim McCann of the Dubliners was Patricia’s brother-in-law while a cousin was Cornelius Ryan who wrote the trilogy including A Bridge Too Far, The Longest Day and the Last Battle while he worked for United Press International.

William carried out exhaustive research to write The Kirkwood Trilogy and said he hopes the books provide readers with a greater understanding of a complex and rich society, dwelling as they do on a fascinating but little known part of history. The first two books are available in selected book shops and in all local libraries.