Introducing – A Life of Choice

 

Part celebration of an anniversary, and part promotion of my longest running project.

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 bit longer. As it turned out, it was a bit longer …

 

Not in my wildest dreams could I have envisaged the next stage 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, 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.

Secondly, I do not call this an autobiography; it is a five-part novel.

I have written a tale I’ve researched in considerable depth. The interesting ingredients are still there and in the same measure but with a more light-hearted view.

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.

 

If you should decide to take this journey I would ask that you read the books in sequence. Should you read my efforts please leave a review. My intention 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 within the story. I’ve used graphics and sub-titles appropriate to the stages of the journey.

Clickng on any cover takes you to the book’s individual page and the links to preview/buy. Clicking on the ‘series’ picture below will take you to the Anthologies page of my author website.

 

As 2017 draws to a close I am in touch with Aimee at Author Design Studio 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

P.S. For those who like detail, the bio picture in this post was taken yesterday – 6th November 2017.

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Advancing Steadily

Krefeld First School, Krefeld, Germany

My featured graphic is a drawing I completed of Krefeld First School in Krefeld, Germany.  Our son went there after a short time attending Wavell Junior School in Catterick.  The drawing was to go on to become the front cover of official handouts from the school featured.  Apart from the notion of advancing steadily I feel it’s worth noting that there was a simple, but accurate compass painted on the playground.  How military is that!  That was rhetorical, so please don’t inundate me with suggestions.  Why mention the compass?  Apart from advancing it gives a loose connection to going in the right direction.  Okay, I’m stretching a point.  No, I refuse to say a compass point.

If you’re still with me the whole theme of advancement is to do with my romantic thriller, ‘Ten Days’.  I’ve now completed the first two drafts and things are going well with the third.  In an effort to give more substance to the two main characters I’ve allowed them both a chapter apiece at the start.  They had previously been sharing both the first chapters but I’m now happy with the change.  Apart from saying it’s romantic and a thriller I can confirm that the main story takes place in Panama, Central America.

For the time being I’ll withold the jacket blurb and the front page strapline but I can now confirm I’ve requested our son Andrew to design the front cover for me.  As an artist I have ideas, but Andrew is creative naturally and professionally so it would be foolish of me to go it alone.

What’s next?  Of course we should really look forward if we’re calling this post Advancing Steadily.  My intention is to complete the third and final draft by early October.  I will have five sets of the manuscript printed and give them to a variety of pre-selected readers with a standard questionaire to give me feedback.  If all goes well I will self-publish as an E-book in November.