South Shields author scoops three awards

Author John Orton.
Author John Orton.

An author from South Shields has scooped three awards after his new book was praised for its use of the Geordie dialect.

John Orton’s Blitz PAMs received the recognition for the e-book version of his work - which tells the story of the Blitz in South Shields through the eyes of a young grocery delivery lad, Mossie Hamed.

Blitz Pams, the latest work by South Shields born author John Orton.

Blitz Pams, the latest work by South Shields born author John Orton.

Mossie volunteers to become a police auxiliary messenger – the PAM in the book’s title.

Published in November, the book has now picked up three awards - the Discovered Diamond Award for historical fiction; independent book publishing award the BRAG Medallion, and a readers nomination from the Chill With a Book Awards.

The book was praised for the use of local dialect with words and phrases including ‘gans yem,’ ‘aboot’ and ‘geet.’

Mr Orton said: “When I started writing Blitz PAMs I just wrote the words as Mossie would have spoken them. It seemed to bring the story and the character to life.

“I did worry that folk from ‘doon Sooth’ might have a job, but I’ve received really positive feedback. Readers get used to it after the first chapter and the story just carries them along.”

This is not the first time Mr Orton has been recognised for his work. His first book, The Five Stone Steps - published in 2014 - also picked up independent book publishing award, the BRAG Medallion.

The book was fictional retelling of the memoirs of Tom ‘Jock’ Gordon, a Station Sergeant in the South Shields Police Force in the 1920s.

Diamond Award reviewer Jen Black said of his newest book: “The writing style is vibrant, littered with dialect words and phrases which add flavour and delivers Geordie common sense and humour as plain English never could.”

Mr Orton said he was over the moon with the success of the e-book version’s critical success.

He added: “It is very hard for indie authors to get book reviews and it is fantastic to receive this sort of support from these three independent review sites.”

The paperback version of Blitz PAMs is on sale at The Word and the South Shields Museum.