Well, this is the first post in almost a year, which isn’t a great track record for a writer. But quite often, the business of writing takes over the business of writing about writing and in the past 11 months I’ve been busier than the proverbial one-armed bricklayer.
What have I been doing? Well, I finished off a book with a charming old chap called the Reverend Cyril Grant, about his life as a minister in Bristol and around the world. This was published by SilverWood Books (www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk) to a very high standard and acclaim all round. Cyril was delighted, not least when so many people (including the Mayor of Bristol) attended his launch party.
I’m also working on another book by an older person with the working title of Song Of The Skylark. This is the story of an East End evacuee’s experience in the countryside of the Home Counties during World War Two. Nothing unusual in that you might think, but there is much more to this evacuee’s tale than meets the eye, lifting the lid on an aspect of British society in the 1940s that was distinctly at odds with official anti-Nazi rhetoric. This has now been picked up by a UK publisher and the deal is about to be signed.
I’ve also been helping out a guy from Glasgow on a non-fiction submission about an old electric guitar that may be of exceptional historic and monetary value – or not, as the case may be! Unfortunately, this has so far failed to find a home in the UK, which is surprising as it’s very much a British story and I feel there would (or should) be a lot of interest in this among guitar fans. But there’s no betting on what’s hot and what isn’t in the publishing world – it’s often very much down to the likes or dislikes of an individual editor, and whether the book idea is commercial enough. The guitar book idea is also on submission in the United States, so fingers crossed it will find a home there.
I’ve also been travelling around the UK carrying out interview work for a charity that looks after homeless and vulnerable young people. This has been a fascinating commission, not least because the work has enabled those people to have a voice. It’s also helped me to hone my interview technique, which I’ll have a look at in more depth for my next blog – which will NOT be left for another year!!