Wednesday, 31 May 2017

One Day In June

I'm really pleased to have one of my longer stories in The People's Friend this week. I got the idea for it in a rather unusual way.

As some of you might know, 2016 saw the 50th anniversary of England's historic football World Cup victory and there were several books published on the subject. Although I'm no longer a football fan I browsed through a few just to evoke a few memories of the time. One book that caught my imagination was The 1966 World Cup Final: Minute by Minute written by Jonathan Mayo. This not only recounts the experiences of the players over that eventful weekend but also those of ordinary people around the country.

Some of the team do not even know whether they are playing or not on the morning of the match. At breakfast some try to catch the eye of manager Alf Ramsey but he is giving nothing away. Some people still have to work of course. There are the firemen in Maidstone who are called out shortly after West Germany score the first goal. There is a bus driver and his conductor, finding themselves with no passengers, who try to find a house on their route where they can watch some of the game. As Kenneth Wolstenholme announces that it's all over, a policeman loses his helmet in the crowd.

As soon as I read these extracts I wanted to write a piece of fiction in a similar style. But what event could I choose? The only time I could think of, where the whole nation was glued to either the television or radio, was the 1953 coronation. So I created a group of characters in situations all over England who, in their own unique way, were affected by the events of the day. I hope I made it entertaining. Thank you, Jonathan Mayo.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

No More Excuses

It's time I stopped making excuses and got back into regular blogging despite the fact that this is my busiest time of the year.

There are A Levels and International Baccalaureate going on at the college where I'm an exam invigilator. During these two months I'm still determined to keep up my short story output for the womags. Nevertheless I'm sitting here typing this post while switching between commentary of Notts v Leics in the One Day Cricket competition and England v Ireland in International One Day Cricket. I'm also trying to keep up to date with progress of the Giro (Italy's equivalent of the Tour de France).

Another ongoing project is the sequel to my children's novel Youthopia which I'm hoping to complete before the end of the year.

 By the way I have a story coming in this week's People's Friend. (Dated May 13th). It's a story with a horse racing theme. I actually received a slap on the wrist from editor Shirley Blair for not alerting her to the fact that this is a date specific story. It didn't occur to me that they would have preferred to publish it during Grand National week. Oh well. Lesson learnt.