Rochester man Mick Baker self-publishes his first novel, Romance amongst the roses

Rochester man Mick Baker has written his first novel, a romantic comedy titled Romance amongst the roses: The rebirth of Dennis Brownfield. Picture: NONI HYETT
Rochester man Mick Baker has written his first novel, a romantic comedy titled Romance amongst the roses: The rebirth of Dennis Brownfield. Picture: NONI HYETT

From newsagent, to wine tavern owner, to romance author – Rochester’s Mick Baker is a man of many talents.

Hard copies of his first novel, Romance amongst the roses: The rebirth of Dennis Brownfield, arrived on Friday, after almost two months as a Kindle edition.

“It’s sort of surprised half the people in Rochy – I think the genre threw them off a bit,” says Baker, whose family had the town’s newsagent for nearly 50 years, before it was sold a few years back.

“Everyone who has read it has enjoyed it.”

The romantic comedy follows the fictional Aussie widower Dennis Brownfield as he heads over to the US to visit his son in Tyler, Texas, the “Rose Capital of America”. 

“After being there for a week something happens and Dennis becomes a bit of an accidental hero,” says Baker.

“People read it and think it’s almost a true story – it’s that real it could be your neighbour, it could be anybody.”

The long-term Rochester man has written short stories in the past but decided a couple of years ago it was time to do a novel.

“Initially my thought was to write a reverse Crocodile Dundee but the story drifted away from that,” he said.

While Rochester doesn’t feature in the self-published novel, Baker is already hard at work on his second, this time a romance thriller set in a small country town.