Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Monday 19 October 2009

Celebrity back scratching

I was watching Alan Titchmarsh the author and broadcaster on the 'One Show' an early evening chat programme, promoting his new book. Whenever the TV celebs publish a new book, they seem able to move from one show to another, regardless of channel, promoting their work and simultaneously inviting their hosts on to their own programmes in a self serving merry-go-round. I expect to see Christine Blakely on the A.T. show when her first autobiography, written by a ghost writer hits the book shops.
It has been suggested that Jonathon's Ross' agent makes sure that all his writers get a slot on the programme. I can't blame him; it makes sense but are the public being, in some way, cheated. Why should I be bothered? As an author myself, knowing how hard it is to breakthrough in the business, it is galling to find that the so called celebs are able to get so much easy promotion. Others, more gifted than me, are also being denied access to a wider audience by all this 'nepotism'. I wrote to ITV, the makers of the A.T. Show and suggested that they make a slot available where the host interviews a complete newcomer. It need not be every day or even every week; but now and again where they find a writer with an interesting story to tell. I will own up here and say that I did push my own name forward but I doubt very much if my letter will get passed the waste bin.

I finished 'The Green Man at Buddleigh' last week. The story is finished. I'm at the same stage as a painter who's fiddled with his finished picture and has to put down his brush for fear of overdoing it. The story has finished at just under 112 thousand words which for me is about right. I don't like to have too short a book, because a buyer wants value for money, but on the other hand I don't want it to be so long that by the end the reader is bored. I've now sent some chapters to pdf or Peters, Fraser and Dunlop, the agency. Hopefully, they'll look at it more seriously than I suspect Curtis Brown did. I like my story. Most authors would, of course, say that, but with a successful blending of several different stories within the whole, I think I've succeeded in making an entertaining book.

The US President has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm delighted for him but wonder if there wasn't someone more deserving; someone who has already saved countless lives by their selfless devotion to their quest. I talk, of course, about Doctor Beat Richner, the Swiss pediatrician and founder of the Kantha Bopha foundation. I have said it before but I'll say it again. If my novel, 'Apsaras' makes money I'll be happy to make a donation to his cause. In the meantime, I've written to the President suggesting that he might make a contribution with some of his 1.4 million dollar prize money.

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