Salford University graduate Adam Simcox says his time studying in the city helped launch his passion for writing and film production.

Credit: Image provided by Adam Simcox

And it’s also given him the location for his second supernatural thriller.

His debut novel The Dying Squad, which follows Detective Inspector Joe Lazarus’s quest to solve his own murder, was published earlier this year and the next instalment in the trilogy is to be set in Salford and Manchester.

Simcox explained: “The next book is coming out next August. A lot of that is set in Manchester and Salford. I kind of wanted to explore that world. It’s a great place to set a book Manchester, I have gained a lot of inspiration from there.”


The writer, who originates from Lincolnshire, where the first book is set, studied MA in TV and Documentary Production at the University of Salford from 2003-2004.

He said: “It was definitely one of the most important years of my life. There is no doubt about it. I hadn’t made a film before I came to Salford.

“At the end of my time there I had made two documentaries and then the film ‘Superhero’, which went on to be sold to Netflix. And it totally rebooted my life really, because I studied Law at University. It wasn’t right for me at all”

“Before I did the course at Salford, I didn’t know anyone who worked in film. I come from a very small village, in a really small county, and so I didn’t know anyone who wrote books or made films. So, for me it was just so important to be around kindred spirits”.

Following graduation, Simcox began a career in commercial film, alongside writing and producing his own projects. But despite recent successes it has not an easy ride the writer, facing over a hundred book rejections before finally achieving his dream of becoming a published writer.


“On my fourth attempt, which was The Dying Squad, I managed to land a deal fortunately. It felt like a long time coming, but it was only four years, but it felt like 40.

“In a way I’m glad my university self hasn’t seen how long it has taken for me to get something published, but I would also say rejection is something you’re going to get in any creative industry. It goes with the territory.”

‘The Dying Squad’ is available to purchase at Waterstones. Check out Adam Simcox on Twitter @adamsimcox and Instagram @simcoxadam

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