News & Updates

The start of 2020

ginger tom marmalade

Having returned from a lovely trip down to Narbonne for Christmas and New Year, and getting back into the swing of things, it seems like I have lost the month of January in a flash! Indeed, looking at the garden, it seems like two months has gone, as the weather is ultra mild and some daffodils already out – while I do my garden tidy-up and replace the long rotted fence panels, instead of writing with any serious intent.

In addition, for some forgotten reason, I have started to make marmalade – with the explicit intention of using no added sugar, just honey. So from my Mum’s ancient recipe book, I have religiously followed all the good preparation and deleted all the added sugar weighing in at 6lbs (in old money) or three bags full! The result is a lovely sticky and bright dark orange mix, which tastes sharp and delicious. Then I had the idea for labelling – and out of it came ‘Ginger Tom © Jan 2020’, who could easily be the lead character for book number 6. That is of course assuming I will knuckle down to getting on with book number 5.

Talking of which, the first chapter and outline proposal of ‘OVDA – An Airbase for Peace’ has now been submitted to an agent/publisher for consideration or further guidance. I now have a month or two to collate a mountain of scattered notes and forge them into some semblance of order – just in case a higher authority comes back to me, asking for a complete draft. What a wonderful nightmare to look forward to!

On a definitely positive note, and a good start to the New Year, I now have my Dad’s WW2 biography ‘Battle Honours’ on the shelves this month both in Guildford and Brighton Waterstones. Many thanks indeed for the consideration and tolerance shown by the respective managers Max Gwynne and Jon Andrews, who cheerfully withstood my badgering over the past few months!

On a further positive note, the 2020 calendar version of my picture book/graphic novel ‘Pablo and Jackson – On Tour’, have all sold out over the Christmas and New Year period. So many thanks in particular to Alison at Worthing Art Gallery and Museum, and to Sarah at Arundel’s Book Ferret, and of course all owners who have just turned over the page and into February, and now March! Moving on, Alison has now taken an order for ‘Battle Honours’ to reside in the Museum’s military history section.

To finish off, some hot-off-the-press family news. My wonderful niece Lauren (she being my biggest fan, and has sort of promised to even buy my next book, in exchange for marmalade) has given birth to lovely daughter Nancy on 2 February, weighing into this world at 5.9lbs (again in old money), in my home town Guildford – with mum, dad Jim and baby doing very well!

So a good all-round start to the New Year! Good reading and writing.