A WIRRAL author will see a long-term dream come true this week when the film version of his first novel is released.

Set in the post-punk north west of England, Awaydays opens at cinemas across the country this Friday, May 22, and will be screened at the Vue cinema in Birkenhead.

It follows the fortunes of teenager Paul Carty, who works as a civil servant and spends all his wages on gigs, clubs, records and football. But life changes when he meets Elvis, the leader of a gang called The Pack...

Filmed at various Wirral locations and produced by Oxton-based Red Union Films, the script was adapted from a novel written by Oxton-based Kevin Sampson in 1990.

Kevin, former manager of Liverpool band The Farm, told the Globe: “I actually started out wanting to do films and film scripts before I became a novelist.

“Awaydays started off as a series of images in my head and, effectively, a short promo. The novel was published in 1998, but the idea came in 1979.

“I’d written a magazine about what was happening in Manchester in the 1970s. It just always fascinated me and I always thought it would make a great backdrop for a novel, because it was so specific to this area and that time.

“Those recollections and reminiscences of your teenagehood I don’t think ever go away. That’s why things like Friends Reunited are so popular because it’s everybody’s golden age.

“I’m very happy with the way the film’s turned out.

“Given that Awaydays was the first thing I ever wrote, it was almost quite a proposition to hand it over to a team of people to interpret.

“But that moment comes to everybody, when you have to let go and trust that people’s instincts are everything that you’ve hoped for.

“I’m sure audiences will delight in telling us that we’ve got a 2005 car in the background and nobody had those training shoes in the 1970s. But it’s been an honest effort, anyway.

“An author is probably what my job description will be for a long time to come. I’ll carry on writing novels for as long as there’s an interest in reading them and carry on making films for as long as people want to see them.

“It sounds like a glamorous profession, but I’m still driving around in a battered Vauxhall which, in exactly three months, will be eligible for the £2,000 junking.”

Dave Hughes, producer of Red Union Films and Kevin’s childhood friend, said: “The cast features Stephen Graham, who’s now Al Capone in Scorsese’s next project, which is good timing.

“We have worked with some great emerging young talent, especially the two leads, Liam Boyle and Nicky Bell.

“Carty, the main lead, learns a lot of incredibly valuable life lessons in a short burst of madness and comes out the other end. It’s a tale of resolutions as well.”

For more details log on to awaydaysthemovie.com and redunionfilms.com.