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Author GP Taylor quits to care for sick daughter

GP Taylor, one of Britain's best-selling authors, is ending his career prematurely to look after his 11 year-old daughter in Scarborough, who is suffering from an incurable disease.

Priest and writer Graham Taylor became a leading light in the literary world when he sold the rights to his first book, Shadowmancer, for 314,000 - three times the advance JK Rowling got for the first Harry Potter story.

Audio programme: GP Taylor interviewed

Video: My Yorkshire - GP Taylor in Paradise

As well as writing he also dabbled in the priesthood and the music industry, working with acts like the Sex Pistols.

But he has now decided to devote his life to his daughter, Lydia, who is suffering from Crohn's disease.

Mr Taylor, 51, who lives in Scarborough, said: "Looking after Lydia is going to be a lifelong thing and I've made my decision.

"I've realised that I've got to stop writing until she's of an age where she's more able to look after herself.

"As well as the writing, I do work in schools and promotional work and it's very time consuming. I need to evaluate what really matters in my life and I'll just have to stop and care for my daughter."

He said Lydia's symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting and weight loss. The condition also causes complications such as skin rashes, arthritis and inflammation of the eyes.

She has been through eight operations, and has also developed pneumonia.

"She's having seizures, is on morphine and is suffering chronic headaches," said Mr Taylor, who last month had a major heart operation himself.

"She hasn't eaten for two weeks but she's such a little fighter. She's still severely ill - the whole thing is a nightmare."

Her mother Kathy, 48, added: "We're praying Lydia recovers as fast as possible so we can resume a fairly normal life."

Mr Taylor sold his motorbike to self-publish his first novel Shadowmancer, a parable about Christianity and black magic set in the 18th century.

It was snapped up by publishers Faber & Faber and went on to top the bestseller

 
 
 

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