Getting used to things

Jennie Orbell mentioned an interesting thing in her blog, about the big difference between doing practical work and writing. I do building, DIY, plumbing, you name it. I always felt at school that working with my hands was real work, whereas reading books and writing was not.

Later in life I managed to combine the two aspects of what I enjoyed doing by writing articles about practical building and DIY for various magazines, mainly Period Living, which, in 2006, was taken over and I lost all the work, as so often happens, despite surviving 8 years of editor changes and style alterations. Luckily I managed to find work with Kent Life magazine, and am still writing for them today – and very grateful for the work in these terrible times. In 2008 I got some proofreading work from John Blake publishers, made friends with first one, then another editor there and this continued until 2011, when they both left at once, and the work dried up.

All the while I was writing fiction, and now I’m self publishing this, for better or worse. I am making friends on Twitter – but not just friends – perhaps enemies too. Part of the plot for my novel includes the details surrounding the assassination of John Lennon, and, using Lennon’s name in a publicity tweet, I got an angry message from someone referring to John Lennon’ wife and family, and what a dreadful event it was, inferring I was using his death for gain. I immediately messaged back, saying that no offence was meant, and that his death was treated sensitively and respectfully. I hope this person understands I mean this. And I hope I don’t offend anyone else.

 Every tragic situation gives scope for fiction. The twin towers disaster, I believe, inspired novels, furthermore wars and disasters are dramatised and written about ad infinitum. Nevertheless, even as I wrote the book, I was worried about using a real event to build fiction onto. I have of course thoroughly presaged the book with the statement that all events are fiction, and that real events are referred to but nothing within my book has any basis in fact. I have not trivialised Lennon’s murder in any way. And I hope I have done justice to John Lennon’s memory.

Anyway, just now someone downloaded a copy of my book (free) on Smashwords, so that is good news. (Rock’n’Roll Suicide, free now LL59Y )

Would like to mention Truda Thurai, who kindly messaged me about my blog, and refer to her excellent book, The Devil Dancers:






One thought on “Getting used to things

  1. Don’t worry about it – if you write about a real life, tragic event you’re bound to offend someone! I imagine the person who was, momentarily, a little iffy with you about it soon forgot about it and moved on to whatever he was thinking about next!

    Problem with sites such as these is that you WILL occasionally have little spats with people – you dealt with it in a perfect way, I think, ie, explained yourself briefly, concisely and politely, and made that the end of it.

    You might find you get the odd bad review for your book, too – and you’ll learn to deal with them, as well, like we all do!

    I applaud and envy your success in your journalistic work, incidentally – I have never tried to get anything like that and would imagine it is very hard these days, so congratulations!


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