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Made In Somerset

THIS month sees the publication of ‘Struck Off’, the debut novel from John Killah.  

Author John Killah (left) and cover design graphic artist Alice Keegan

John is probably best known to Frome Times readers as a solicitor. For many years until his recent retirement from the profession, John practised as a criminal defence lawyer in and around Frome and Somerset. 

“It has been hugely enjoyable writing the book,” says John. “I am not going to give anything away about the fast-moving and tense plot. However, much of the comic fiction book is based in and around Somerset, a county that I have made my home for nearly 40 years. I love the place. However, for anyone interested in reading a funny and gripping tale about shenanigans going on in a busy Somerset market town, then this is probably the book for them.” 

For the completion and production of the final copy of the book, John teamed up with graphic designer Alice Keegan.  Alice grew up in and went to school in Frome. Following a successful early career based in London, Alice recently returned to her home town. Alice was given the brief of putting together the cover design for Struck Off. 

“Working on the cover design was a really fun challenge,” says Alice. “There is so much going on in the book it was really hard to pin down a simple image that represents all of the themes. But once the badger came to me, I couldn’t stop thinking about him, he’s a small character but stands for all that the book’s about. I’ve grown really fond of him!” 

John is quick to acknowledge his debt to friends, colleagues and family who gave him support and encouragement when writing the book.  

“I would particularly like to thank my publisher John Chandler at Hobnob Press who offered wise words and counsel throughout the process,” adds John. “Local writer Crysse Morrison has been incredibly helpful in pointing me in the right direction and of course a big ‘thank you’ must go to Tina and her wonderful team at Winstone’s Hunting Raven Books in Cheap Street. We are incredibly fortunate in Frome to have such a great independent bookshop in town that is also so supportive of local writers.” 

John or Alice were both asked to explain to Frome Times what was so special about the badger. 

“We would like to help but that would really spoil everything,” replied John. “To find out the significance of the badger I fear that it is necessary to buy the book!” 

The novel ‘Struck Off’ is now available and on sale at Winstone’s Hunting Raven Books. Further details about the novel can be found at


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