A SINGER and author sold his Hastings flat to move hundreds of miles to France so as to pen his first book.
Aaron Wilde, 43, took a gamble and went to a village near Poitiers to be able to enjoy the peace and quiet and write The Vegas Switch.
The novel, a three-year project, was published in April, and is about two students who decide to take down the biggest casinos in the Strip in Las Vegas.
Instead of $20 million in cash, they end up with a case full of old women’s clothes with the mob after the money and their blood.
Aaron, who lived in Mount Pleasant Road, said: “The genesis of the idea came while waiting for my suitcase at the airport carousel in Jersey. I’ve always been interested in card games, especially blackjack, and films like Pulp Fiction, House of Games and movies by Alfred Hitchcock.
“I had this idea that if I picked up the wrong suitcase and it was full of money, or even better, if I’d won the money and got someone else’s suitcase instead, using the clues inside to find that person.”
Aaron said he wanted the novel to feature places he knew about and visited, so he went to the casinos in Monte Carlo.
“I visited Monte Carlo for my 40th birthday to research the book and my mother paid for the trip as a 40th birthday present,” Aaron told the Observer.
The story also takes place in France, around Europe, Maidstone in Kent, where Aaron graduated in film at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA), as well as Mayfair and Hastings where the finale happens. Aaron moved to Hastings from Maidstone in 2003, sold his taxi and became a singer, performing Adam Ant and Elton John tributes.
Speaking about his book, he said: “I enjoyed every minute writing it, after taking the biggest gamble of my life.
“I was lucky enough to get a top designer to do the book cover for me. He insisted on reading some of it before agreeing to do the design.
“It took three years to complete, although the final year was fine-tuning and polishing the story, and getting the cover designed.”
Aaron plans to write his second novel over the next six months, a story he started 10 years ago but abandoned as he was not happy with it.
More about Aaron’s book can be found at www.thevegasswitch.com.