AS HEADTEACHER to hundreds of teenagers, it may seem that Dr Paul Doherty already has his work cut out.
But the dedicated teacher, who has been head of Trinity Catholic High School, Mornington Road, Woodford Green, for 26 years, has found time to write about 60 books.
Ahead of the launch of his latest tome, The Templar, the 61-year-old told of his passion for writing.
“I always wanted to do it. I loved reading and writing stories as a child and I was especially interested in history.
“But when I finished my doctorate at Oxford, I didn’t want to be an academic, I wanted to teach.”
The father-of-seven, who lives in Leytonstone with wife Carla, has been writing for 25 years and mainly pens historical mysteries.
His work has been published all over the world including Japan, Alaska and Canada, and readers across the globe email him about his books.
Dr Doherty said his latest has, in effect, been a work in progress for 25 years.
He said: “I’ve done a lot of research over the years, but I actually put pen to paper about a year ago.
“For some of my books, like a history book about Queen Elizabeth I, a lot of the information is already to hand, but when I get an idea I develop it and it can be easy. I enjoy writing and I do it at weekends and during holidays.”
His sons and daughters benefited from his writing flair when he would tell them stories as children and his family are interested in what he does.
His students know all about his other career and some caught him on TV last year talking about Elizabeth I. Parents also have been known to read his books.
A true story-teller, Mr Doherty writes his novels by dictating them on tape, so he knows how they will sound to readers. Then the manuscript is delivered to a typist for completion.
The latest book will be launched in a ceremony at the school on Thursday.
It’s a story about the First Crusade and the origins of the Templar Order.
He said: “I looked into it during my time at Oxford and I thought I’d write a story about how they were founded.
“It seems to be well received. It’s very vivid and readable.
by CLAIRE STILL
The Templars exploded onto the public conciousness with Dan Brown’s THE DA VINCI CODE, now journey with Paul Doherty to 1095 and experience the founding of the Templar Order in all its epic and brutal detail. 1095 and crusading fervour has swept Europe. Christ’s fief of Jerusalem has been seized by the Infidels. The Frankish Knights of the West are to march east to liberate the Holy City. Hugh de Payens and Godefroi of St Omer, the soon-to-be founders of the Templar Order, and Hugh’s younger sister, Eleanor, leave the security of their homes in Burgundy, France, with a plan to join Count Raymond of Toulouse’s army, and march across the known world to Jerusalem. Follow the crusaders as they march through Europe into the glories of Byzantium and onto Syria. Witness the hardships, bloodshed and trickery on their treacherous travels to the Holy Land and know that though the crusaders’ journey, and this novel, will end with their entry into the Holy City, the Crusades have yet to begin in earnest.
By Paul Doherty
320 pages; £7.91.
Buy it on the Templar Globe Store