Most of what I posted in 2014:
Not to be confused with the 1930s illustrator who worked for "Good
Some of his books are:
The Mystery of the Secret Package
The Mystery of the Strange Look Alike
Mystery at St. Anne's Home
Mystery at St. Lucy's
Mystery of the Strange Legacy
Mystery of the Elusive Thief
(includes partial booklist)
"Vernon Thomas (born 1935) is a Kolkata (Calcutta) based Anglo Indian
author. He is the author of 119 books, novels and retold stories for
children, teenagers and young adults. While most of his books have been
brought out by Pauline Publications, as many as 250 short stories of his
have been published in journals in India, Italy, the UK and South Africa.
Thomas lost his eyesight in 1994 as a result of two faulty cataract
operations and continues to write."
(photo and article - it says 2008, but it may be from 2006)
If you're wondering why you never heard of him all these years, you're
forgiven. For like he says, "I took up writing in 1967. Between 1968 and
1980, around 100 stories were published in the Teenager, a magazine
edited by Father Mark Fonseca. He is my guru, my mentor and when he
left the magazine he introduced me to some publishers."
Leading journals like The Illustrated Weekly of India, Women's Era and
Eve's Weekly published his stories, mostly in the kids' section. "Though
I cannot judge my writing style, people say that as far as romantic
fiction is concerned, it is very close to Dennis Robbins. I wonder if
this is a compliment. At the age of 12, I wrote my first story titled
Identical Princess. I was then at St Xavier's School and my teacher
asked which magazine I would like it to be published in. I replied,
The Illustrated Weekly. But my teacher thought it should be published
in a journal meant for children. I refused the offer! My father never
wanted me to study literature, for he thought it would make a teacher
out of me. So I took up commerce at the University of Calcutta and
soon joined Jessop and Company in the billing department. I worked
there for 23 years and took early retirement, for I wanted to
concentrate on writing."
...Thomas, a bachelor and regular churchgoer, said he would become
"spiritually empty" if he did not attend Mass. Spiritual emptiness, he
explained, would lead to intellectual emptiness and ultimately to "my
untimely death." His adopted son, Lakkhi Maity, a Hindu, accompanies
him to church.
The author said writing is his passion and life, and Saint Joseph the
Worker guides him to produce more. He dedicates his output to the
Blessed Mother, whom he describes as standing by him as he writes the
first draft of each new manuscript.
De says Thomas´ heroes are honest, truthful and hardworking people. In
her view, he promotes the age-old proverb that "honesty is the best policy"
as relevant for modern times. She also said the simplicity of language
in Thomas' works appeals to her as well as the morals they teach.
Thomas affirmed that every one of his books is "deeply-rooted in moralities"
he learned as a child, and he wants all his works to have a profound impact
on young minds.
For the past 10 years or so, Thomas has engaged a production team to
complete his works. After he writes the first draft, Orgah Mukherjee,
his 28-year-old secretary, reads it back to him, and the author
dictates relevant changes before sending it for typing. Mukherjee rereads
the typed script and makes additional changes. It is then sent for the
final typing before being dispatched to a publisher.
The reading and rereading is "absolutely essential," Thomas explained,
because it helps to "engrave the entire work" in his mind...
(2012: "A House for Mr Thomas Now Under Threat from Promoters" - has
(grainy photo - if the above link doesn't work)
...Though Thomas does not want to leave the house his family has been
living in for long, someone claiming to be legal owner of the property
wants to raise a high-rise on the land.
"I'm feeling a threat to my life from the time locals told me that some
unknown persons have been enquiring about my health. I've been fighting
eviction attempts since 1963 and this time I'm really worried. They are
just waiting for me to die," said Thomas, who lodged a police complaint
in the first week of March...
(a B&W photo of the house - very nice!)
He studied commerce in Calcutta in the 1950s and music in London.
If possible, check out the two-page-plus entry for him in vol. 56 (1989)
of the "Something About the Author" encyclopedia series. He tells the story
of his life for an entire page.
"About this time I was hoping to marry a young lady, but she underwent a
change of heart. One day she was seen out with another chap, who later
became her husband. This intelligence left me rather devastated. I went
to bed that night most miserable, and the next morning I sat down to write
my first article. That was in 1967, and it was the start of my writing
career. I have always felt grateful to that lady. I attribute my initiation
into the literary field to her. Today she lives in Australia with her
family, and we still exchange greetings at Christmas."
From 1973 to 1981 (maybe even later) his books included four novels for
teens, five short story collections for teens, and two such collections
for adults. Plus one 1977 novel for adults. Starting in 1974, he wrote
retellings of Indian folktales, the "Arabian Nights," works by Aesop,
Robert Louis Stevenson, La Fontaine, plus retellings of "Ivanhoe," "A
Tale of Two Cities," "Les Miserables," "Robinson Crusoe," and