All the books will be available from http://www.feedaread.com/ (a service that plays fair, is free to use up to the point of book purchases, produces quality paperbacks and pays royalties promptly. Check them out.)
STEPHEN BOYD: FROM BELFAST TO HOLLYWOOD, my book on the star of Ben Hur and The Fall of the Roman Empire has gone from a 6 inch x 9 inch format to a 5 inch x 8 inch format.
The cover has been redesigned, the text has been tightened up to make it look neater, several corrections have been made, some black and white pictures are included and, rather like DVDs, I have added extras - my script from the 2013 Belfast Book Festival, a newspaper article I wrote about Stephen Boyd and an essay appreciating the writing skills of actor James Ellis who kindly wrote the foreword.
This book is available now from http://www.feedaread.com/ and soon via Amazon and a litany of other booksellers.
SHOPS, SHOPPERS, SHOPPING & SHAFTED combines my two business books, Retail Confidential (a sort of Carry on Retailing account of my looooonnnngggg career with, hopefully, helpful stories and guidance for shop employees and shoppers alike) and Much Calamity & The Redundance Kid (sub-title: Job Loss, Seriously A Funny Old Game, telling of the three job losses in my career and of not letting the bastards grind me down. It offers guidance with some humour on dealing with job loss as well as job hunting.) - a twofer if you like. The cover is being designed and the mighty tome should be out in a month or so.
BEFORE AMNESIA: SEEDS OF A MEMOIR is dedicated to me, in case I forget the things I remember. Essays, poems, random memories of important and trivial matters and a play, Shaking Hands, all combine to lay a foundation for a more complete memoir should a) I be bothered to write it and b) anyone give a damn. The cover is being designed and the book should be out soon. Here's the rough blurb:
‘I’ve a grand memory for forgetting….” Alan Breck to David Balfour in Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped”
Before Amnesia, Seeds of a Memoir is a blend of humour and serious reflection, there to entertain, inform and, perhaps, enlighten. It is not a conventional autobiographical project. The book contains two essays on my background (Belfast and beyond), a selection of random memories, two poetry sections and a script for a proposed radio drama about a father and a son meeting after a gap of fifty years. On a quite serious note, we are all prone to losing our memories as we get older, either through natural forgetfulness or by something more debilitating. I would like my family in the future to have some written record of me, not for personal vanity but to give them a few details about life as I experienced it. I might get round to writing my whole story but for now, with the words of Alan Jay Lerner singing in my head: ‘Ah yes! I remember it well’, these notes and observations lay some kind of a foundation.
SHAKING HANDS is a play written as a 45-minute radio drama. I decided to include it in Before Amnesia and to publish it as an entity in its own right. At the time of writing, it has not been performed. It is fiction based on several facts from my life. A 60-year-old son tracks down his 89-year-old father to question him on what he left the family home, a wife and seven children more than fifty years ago. In the quest to understand the 'missing' years, the son finds it hard to suppress his anger and the father clings to hope of reconciliation. It would be great to see it performed one day and for acting students to use it to practice their dramatic skills. The cover, simple white lettering on a blue background should be available to view soon.