Friday 6 May 2011

On Libraries...And More

It’s been a little while since I blogged, partly because of hard work and partly because of a much-needed break in sunny Devon (and it was gloriously sunny, too, with the sea right at our door. Well, 30 yards away).

Cold Cruel Winter
appears later this month. The first two chapters are up on ScribD, there’s an audio excerpt, my website ( has been revamped – you can find the links there – and I’m all set.

I’m not doing many events to coincide with the book’s release, but I will be talking to a group in Nottingham that’s read The Broken Token, which should be real fun. The other event, next Wednesday, is in Leeds, and it’s given me pause to reflect on how special these events can be.

It’s at Chapel Allerton library. Until I left home at 18 I never lived further than a mile from that library. I first went there when I was three, it was my treasure house of books. At primary school my class would go there every week. I discovered so many authors there, Henry Treece, Jack Kerouac, probably an endless list. It was my mother’s local library until she died. We might have had very different taste in literature, but she used the library regularly. So, for me, it’s a real return to my roots, and that strikes as me a lovely, beautiful thing.

Under the cuts being proposed by the coalition in government, many future writers might not have the chance to write the words I just wrote. That’s robbing them of a future, and of an education they can’t get anywhere else. That’s not just a sin, it’s a crime, and we all need to do everything we can to prevent it happening. Not just for ourselves – I’m still an avid user of the library – but for the future.

The other part to this comes from an email I received from someone researching family history who came across The Broken Token. She evidently doesn’t have the real Richard Nottingham as an ancestor, but she does have a tipstaff – cudgel, truncheon – from the period that’s been handed down in her family. I has two brass badges, one the emblem of George 1, the other the hanging sheep of Leeds with the date 1719. How it relates to her family she’s not sure, but she’s hoping to attend next week’s event and bring it with her. The thought that I might be handling something that could have been touched by the original Richard Nottingham is aweful, in the very best sense. That’s what you call a connection with your character. If it happens, there will be pictures. There have to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment