Retired teacher from Birchington releases hard-hitting debut book

Steve spent a year writing his book

A retired teacher living in Birchington has published his first book.

Steve Murphy spent a year penning Screwed, finishing in 2004, and then put it to one side.

But 20 years later he brushed the novel off and began researching the best way to get it published.

Screwed is a hard-hitting tale following prison officer John Deverall who has experienced tragedy and horror in his life. But then he finds a new purpose and begins to follow a path of delivering justice.

Steve, 72, says the book can be ‘harrowing’ but adds: “I think when you have finished reading, you will never forget it.”

The book also follows the worst kind of offenders as well as the families who suffer from losses due to those horrific crimes.

The dad of two says the book was prompted by a news item on TV. He said: “I sat down one day and watched a news programme about a man who had severely abused his child and it really affected me.

“They had him in prison two years before the trial and spoke about ‘extenuating circumstances’ and the sentence he got was insignificant. I thought it would be better to just leave him in prison and let the prisoners deal with him.

“Then I just started writing a story about a man working in a prison. It took about a year to write and then I left it.

“But I thought time was getting on so I made a New Year’s resolution to look into publishing it.”

Steve and wife Annette

Steve, who previously taught at schools including Newington and Drapers Mills primary schools and was a project manager at Thanet College, finally decided to go with Kindle Direct Publishing –  Amazon’s e-book publishing platform – and the e-book was published on April 30 with the option for paperback and/or hardback going live yesterday (May 1).

There are no plans for a follow up  to Screwed but Steve does have material for a new book and a compilation of short stories that he is working on.

He said: “I’m 72 now and have seen a bit here and there, up and down the world, and have a few stories in me.”

Steve was born in Virginia USA in 1952 and, with his dad serving in the military, moved to bases around the country. His father was then stationed at El Paso missile ranges before taking a post in Germany and, after retirement, moving to his homeland Ireland.

Steve said: “We went from Ostend on January 1, 1967, going to Southern Ireland but ended up in the north. I was there for five years, until 1972, and then decided to get out. I had a massive (job) application session and was accepted by Nonington College.

“I’ve taught in Kent for my entire working life, at Kent College Canterbury, Newington Junior Ramsgate, Drapers Mills Margate and Thanet College in Broadstairs, but now I am happily retired.”

Steve and wife Annette have lived in Birchington since the early 80s.

Steve is now planning a book launch event for late May at a venue to be arranged.

Screwed is available on Amazon with the e-book costing 80p, paperback £7.99 and hardback £12.99. Find it at:

Steve also has an author’s page at:


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