I’m so grateful to Jenny Stuart, editor of Worcester Park Life, our local community magazine, for publishing an article about The Emerald of Burgos. It’s in the September edition.
A Latecomer Novelist – by Gordon Thomas
I live in Worcester Park with my lovely wife, Janet, and we’ve been here since our children were small. I used to work as a scientist and administrator in the Home Office. I was so thrilled on 26th June because that was the day my second novel, ‘The Emerald of Burgos’, appeared in print. Not many people start writing novels when I did – after I retired – so I thought I’d tell you about my writing. My message is simple: if I can write a novel, so can you!
It all began in 2003 at SCOLA, the Sutton College of Learning for Adults, where I studied Spanish for ‘A level’. I chose to do an oral exam on Spanish composers. I came across one called Juan Hidalgo and could hardly find anything about him. I was coming up to retirement then and thought: what a great project! I’ll write his biography! I discovered much about him but not enough to write a really interesting, purely factual book so I wrote a novel based on his life instead. I called it ‘The Harpist of Madrid’. Up to now, it has sold more than 1500 copies and received some great reviews.
While writing ‘The Harpist’, I created a character called Esmeralda. I sensed an inner compulsion to write a book about her, such was the strength of my feelings towards her! In ‘The Harpist’ she is a retired lady of pleasure and a spy. My new book begins when at only fifteen she commits a hideous crime and flees to Madrid with a friend. They are kidnapped on the way and that is where the story really begins.
In the blurb, it says the book is ‘a daring prequel to the Harpist of Madrid’. How daring is it, you will be asking? To start with, it’s written in the first person singular: So I wrote it as if I was Esmeralda! And writing about the adventures of a lady of pleasure is also quite audacious. I hope you will love her and her story in ‘The Emerald of Burgos’!
When you’ve published a novel you have to develop other skills such as marketing and promoting it, for example, by doing book signings in shops. My favourite way is through talks. I’ve given more than twenty so far. I don’t charge but take some copies of my books along in the hope of selling some. So, if you want an after dinner or lunchtime speaker, I’d be thrilled if you’d invite me to speak to your group. You can contact me by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can see the actual article if you click on: http://issuu.com/maldenmedia/docs/wplife_sept_14/1!