Wells author and festival chairman Simon Loveday dies after achieving dream of publishing book – Somerset Live

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An author has died less than a week after telling an audience how his 12-year project to publish a book had ended in success.

Simon Loveday spoke about his newly published work at Wells Literary Festival on October 23. He was a former chairman of the festival.

Mr Loveday, who was from Wells, spent 12 years writing his book The Bible for Grown-ups and, after a little help from Times columnist Matthew Parris, saw it published this August.

His wife Sheena said he died at the weekend after a short battle with cancer.

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Mrs Loveday said: “It was a proud moment for him to speak about his own book at the festival.

“It was a really exciting year. He managed to find a publisher for his book in August, which was around the same time as he was diagnosed with cancer.

“He was quite frail by the time he spoke but was in good spirits when he spoke to a packed audience in the marquee at the festival. They gave him, and the book, a lovely welcome.

“He will be really missed by a lot of people.”

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Mr Loveday said last December he felt like “the luckiest person alive” after his book was featured by Matthew Parris in The Times.

He spent 12 years writing the book and completed it in April 2015 but struggled to find anyone to publish it.

He then asked Mr Parris if he could help by reading a preview section and to give an endorsement.

Rather than a mere endorsement, Mr Loveday’s hard work was recognised in a column titled “A Christmas Wish”, where he said his wish that year was for Mr Loveday to get a publisher.

The Wells writer was approached by a number of publishers and the book was finally published in August this year.

Mrs Loveday said: “The book is doing really well and the publishers are on their second run already.

“He was a rather old fashioned gentleman. The letters I am receiving say how he was a very courteous and gentle man. He was always very positive and optimistic.

“He had a love of all things to do with words. It is a wonderful legacy to leave a book that has done so well. It was a long time in the writing because of all the research and other things in life that tend to get in the way.”

Mr Loveday had a daughter and two step-children. He also had five grandchildren.

His funeral will be held at Wells Cathedral at 2.30pm on Thursday, November 10.

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