A Life of Choice – in five parts

 

It was 7th November 1969, on my 17th birthday, when I signed ‘on the dotted line’ and joined the British Army. On that momentous day 48 years ago I left the family home in Glasgow, Scotland. I took a train for my first journey to England. I wasn’t sure if I’d be gone for a week, a month, or a little bit longer. As it turned out, it was a little bit longer …

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Not in my wildest dreams could I have envisaged the next part of my life. Within the story are: violence, sex, alcoholism, humour, drugs, bullying, armed conflict and a lot more besides. Having since built a collection of books on modern warfare penned by the men and women who lived through it I have altered my tale of life in uniform in two ways.

First of all, I felt a greater freedom to expand on certain topics by making the work fact-based fiction.  I also wanted to focus on the humorous outlook of the average serving soldier and his progression – or lack of it. My view of soldiering is told through the eyes of a fictional character: Jim Faulkner.

Secondly, I do not refer to this work as an autobiography; it is a five-part, fact-based fiction novel. In reality I am writing a tale I’ve already researched in considerable depth. All the interesting ingredients are still there and in the same measure but with a more light-hearted viewpoint.

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I sincerely hope it leaves a sense of intrigue and not frustration in the mind of the reader to ponder whether some events actually took place or are fictitious. The story is told from the point of view of a variety of ranks, and not all by a Private soldier, but if you choose to read this tale, you’ll see how I’ve achieved varying points of view.

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If you should decide to take this journey I would ask that you read the books in sequence.

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Should you read my efforts please leave a review. My intention in producing this story is to entertain and I’d like to know if I’ve achieved my aim.

The initial covers have been designed and produced by me. If you are not ex-military and you’re wondering what the three background colours indicate – they are the ‘Corps colours’ of the Royal Corps of Signals. There is a brief explanation in the early part of the story. I’ve used a graphic and sub-title as I judged what would be appropriate for each stage of the journey.

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As 2017 draws to a close I am in touch with Aimee at Author Design to arrange professionally-designed covers for the series. Next year I’ll be investigating the idea of producing the series in papaerback. There are many people who enjoy reading, but are not fans of eReading devices.

Many thanks for taking an interest in my work,

Tom

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