Salford alumnus releases debut novel inspired by brain injury and love of Manchester music

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A University of Salford alumnus who previously suffered a brain injury has released his debut novel.

Steven Anthony Lomas’ book Decades was published earlier this month and includes the 10,000 words that made up the dissertation for his Master’s in Creative Writing at Salford.

The novel’s publication completes a remarkable story for 52 year-old Steven. Having previously worked as a retail manager, a car crash in 2004 caused him to suffer a brain injury and life-changing injuries including complete loss of hearing in his left ear – he was also placed in a medically induced coma for six weeks.

The novel is inspired by both his story and his love of Manchester indie music (the book is named after the Joy Division song ‘Decades’) and it follows a man from Stretford who tries to find his way through life after suffering total memory loss from a brain injury and being in a coma for four and half years. 

Speaking about the book, he said: “They do say that the first novel is very autobiographical. And that would be right with mine.

“After my car accident I could have quite easily just sat at home and done nothing and achieved even less, but it's not within me to be like that.

“As a 17-year-old, I had a premonition that I was going to create something in the future that would move people emotionally as the music of these groups moves me emotionally.

“I would have had a long term career with (retail) management had I not had that car accident but even through all of that, I still had it at the back of my mind and it’s beginning to come true.”

With support from the charity Headway in Stockport and South Manchester he began to rebuild his life after the accident and he originally studied for a Foundation degree in Music Production at The Manchester College.

He then embarked on his journey at Salford where in 2015 he achieved his degree in Professional Broadcast Techniques before returning two years later and graduating in 2018 with a Master’s in Creative Writing.

Steven fondly recalled his time at Salford and praised the lecturers who helped him on his journey writing the book.

Speaking about his time studying at the university, he said: “It gave me a lot of confidence in what I was doing.

“Many people would go on to A Level English and then on to do a degree, but I had this huge gap between GCSE English up to a Master’s and my lecturers understood that and they were really helpful.

“I’ve got a lot to thank the University of Salford for and the Manchester College – were it not for them this [the book] wouldn’t exist. I’m so thankful and grateful.”

He’s currently working on his second novel.

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