Ian Ayris stood next to a tall banner that advertised his first novel, 'Abide With Me' but Ian never expected to be a writer. He told our meeting that having spent his school days kicking a ball around the playground and leaving with just a few qualifications, he had no expectations of ever becoming an author.Like many writers, he was inspired to write a short story based on an idea he had while out walking. He posted the story on-line and it was picked up by a publisher who liked Ian's natural style. Other short stories followed. His first novel, 'Abide With Me', a story about football, friendship and hope, now has a sequel, 'April Skies'. Both novels deal with emotional issues and Ian was heartened by the response he received from some of his readers. As a qualified counsellor for people with learning difficulties, Ian perhaps draws upon his contact with those experiencing every day difficulties and this role may also contribute to Ian's other activity, that of a writing coach. He leads workshops and also lectures on creative writing. After providing us with an interesting account of his writing journey and what drives his particular style, Ian answered questions from members. He then set the audience a task, which involved writing down three titles and expanding just one, writing quickly, without worrying about editing or correcting, just getting thoughts and ideas down. As usual the examples read out were varied and interesting ,and Ian provided some constructive criticism.