Coming of age novels have been staple fixtures of bookshelves for generations, but with his latest book, Canadian author John Stiles is offering a new twist to the genre with Taking The Stairs.

“It’s a coming of middle age novel,” the Leytonstone resident tells me. “It’s about a young guy who is doing all these different jobs, waiting tables, washing dishes, working in a call centre, while trying to get a book published and watching his dreams and aspiration evaporate in front of him.

“It’s a battle of the self, he is stuck between going down the artistic path or just throwing it all in.”

While not going as far as to say the book is autobiographical, the 42-year-old from Nova Scotia, where the book is set, has certainly had his fair share of jobs, from a roadie with rock ‘n’ roll band (The Smalls), to a teacher.

John, who is also the author of two poetry book, Scouts are Cancelled and Creamsicle Stick Shivs and another novel This Insolent Boy, says: “My role in the band was trying to distract the guys from each other, they were too intense and I was there to supply the humour.

“Initially I just went with them to Montreal and that turned into this mad trip across Europe and then into the studio and then filming a documentary about them. “ John will regale a few of his rock’n’roll stories when he gives a talk at Leytonstone Library on Saturday, June 20, 10am.

Details: 020 8496 1190,