Café culture subject of Roger’s first novel

For a few decades, Roger Sanders was one of the island’s most well-known traders.

Sanders Sports in Newport High Street attracted mums and dads looking for gear for their kids, footballers and cricketers who needed new shoes… but mostly traveling men who wanted to chat.

Sanders Sports has followed the path of many other smaller independent retailers, but Roger still has a presence in town.

He is a man with multiple interests, sports, music and now writing. Roger is always good company and you will find it impossible to find anyone with a bad word to say about him.

Roger still cares about the island and its capital and is always good for an opinion or two on its good and bad sides.

IN PICTURES: Roger investigates empty Newport stores

His first novel, Ted’s Cafe, was published just before Christmas and although Roger denies it’s autobiographical, it’s hard not to look for parallels with his own life and the people he’s often seen with around Newport.

The subject of the male affair is fascinating and it is at the heart of Roger’s novel.

The premise is that David Tanner, an ex-journalist, and his friends Alan, Eric and Charlie meet in their last hometown cafe to chew grease on Brexit, the news and their own lives.

Ted’s Cafe is now run by a Polish couple who bring continental food to the cafe but fear for its future in post-Brexit Britain.

A major theme running through the book is life after work, which many people find challenging. Roger approaches it with compassion and insight, having experienced it himself.

He praises the support he received from Philip Bell of Beachy Books, who published Ted’s Cafe.

Roger said: “He guided me so well through the process and was always there when I needed support.”

So if you’re looking for a local read to warm your heart on those cold winter days, then Ted’s Cafe is just what you’re looking for.

Ted’s Cafe is available in local bookstores and online for £7.99.

Irene B. Bowles