Tuesday, 5 June 2012
I am, I confess, the most irregular blogger. I guess this is because, blushing now like a wallflower, I confess feeling that my opinions on most things outside the field of writing for publication are of little interest to other people. True, I will vent a touch of spleen about George W Bush occasionally - even now - but usually I confine these blogs to things that concern me as a writer and therefore might be of interest to my readers. In this context, then, let me welcome you back to this blog with the news about two new books of mine. I have recently typed the two most beautiful words in the English language: The End. They brought to a close the ninth novel in the Simon Fonthill series, FIRE ACROSS THE VELDT. The manuscript has now gone off to my publishers and, all being well, will come onto the nation's bookshelves in January 2013 in hard back form and then, in paperback, the following September. This book sees Simon, his wife Alice and his comrade and former batman "352" Jenkins fighting in the second (and the one we all recall) Boer War, which ended in 1902. This time Fonthill has been lured back into the Regular army by Lord Kitchener to become a Colonel and lead a special unit of light horse to fight the Boers at their own type of "hit and ride" guerrilla warfare. The second book gives me even more pleasure. I wrote it some three years ago to give me a break from the Fonthill series and to satisfy the long standing desire at the back of my mind to write about the first world war, in which my father and all six of my uncles fought - producing one Victoria Cross, one Distinguished Conduct Medal and one Military Medal. Titled STARSHINE, it has been accepted by my publishers and hopefully will be out in January 2014, appropriately one hundred years after the outbreak of that terrible war. If these two books give readers as much pleasure as I received in writing them, then I will be very satisfied.