Today’s short blog is my chance to say “thank you” to everyone who came to my book launch at Cobbler’s Champagne Bar last night.
To my family (my wife Elaine, and stepson Chris), friends from my work, Elaine’s work, the Grangetown Netball family, and friends I’ve met through darts and writing … I am so grateful to all of you for taking time out of your day to come along and help make the evening so special. I really hope that you had a good time.
Thanks too for all the messages from those who were unable to make it – I really appreciated you getting in touch.
“Today, Just Like Yesterday” tells the story of a life with dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder) and the “challenges” I have undertaken to try and raise mental health awareness. It was an incredibly difficult book to write, but it exists as a permanent thank you to everyone who has supported me, both emotionally and in turning 100 challenge ideas into reality; and if one person finds the strength to talk or ask for help after reading the book, then everything has been worthwhile.
Stephanie, my editor at Trigger, came all the way from Newark for the event; Trigger is a mental health publisher that is beginning to make a real difference; and I’m very fortunate that they believed in me and gave me the opportunity to share my story.
Cobbler’s Champagne Bar (which is in Normanby, just outside Middlesbrough) was the perfect place to hold the launch. Gel and Di took care of absolutely everything, and I can’t thank them enough for creating such a lovely welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.
Looking forward, I still have twelve tasks to attempt before the challenges come to a definitive end. I’m now hoping to be able to plan a few talks to share experiences and raise mental health awareness, but for now, I want to close by simply repeating my thanks to everyone who came along to the launch last night. It was everything I could have hoped for … thank you so much.
Back in 2004, shortly after a revelation that completely changed the course of my life, I started to write a novel.
Over the years that followed, I wrote… I changed… I deleted… I wrote again... and again…. until a decade after typing those first words, I finally completed my book.
It was so difficult to write (for any number of reasons) and I will readily admit that I am more proud of this novel than any other piece of work I have ever undertaken. The book is called The Beige Beetle and here is the “official” synopsis from the websites where the e-book is available to download.
“Matthew Green was eighteen and just starting his first year as a university student. He hoped that being away from home might help him finally come to terms with certain events from his past, but his demons refused to release their grip... until a chance meeting that would have the most dramatic effect on not one, but two lives. Please note the book covers some difficult subjects, includes occasional strong language and mild sexual references.”
I don’t think for a minute that this book will bring me fame and fortune—to be honest I’m not greedy, I’d settle for just the fortune—but I do honestly believe that the story is worth reading. The “difficult subjects” mentioned above include (but are not restricted to) depression and bulimia; and I am therefore going to forward this short blog to Time to Change, the Mentally Sound Radio Show, and the Men Tell Health website with the following offer….
If anyone would be willing to write a considered and honest review of The Beige Beetle (of any length) which could be added to those currently on my website (there's a link below), please would you e-mail me at email@example.com and I will send a pdf version of the book by return (or at least as quickly as I can depending on where I happen to be when the e-mail arrives!).
Please feel free to pass on this message to any friends you think might be interested in reading and reviewing the book. I’ve said before that this is my magnum opus (my biggest ice cream, if you will...) and anyone who takes the time to commit their thoughts to electronic paper will be acknowledged in all updated versions of the paperback—oh and also in the film credits should wildest dreams ever come true!
Thank you so much.
Have you ever fancied yourself as a book reviewer?
If the answer is “yes”, then I would love to hear from you.
My debut novel The Beige Beetle was completed last year, but my first attempt at obtaining a few opinions about a piece of work that was actually ten years in the making didn’t quite go according to plan. However, now is the time for a second push... as the midwife said to th... maybe not.
The book is set in a university hall of residence in the 1980s. It deals with some very tough subjects and includes a few words that my parents definitely didn’t teach me; but despite having had two books professionally published, this is the work I am most proud of... of which I am most proud. Never end a sentence with a preposition, eh Wendy?!
If you’re not sure about penning a review, I recently found this post about my biography of Marie Prevost: “This slim, poorly written book takes a look at the life and work of a beautiful, talented and ill-fated actress who was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the 1920s, Its unfortunate, because Prevost deserves better.”
These carefully considered words came courtesy of a self-styled “arts journalist, author, silent film buff, pop culture enthusiast...” whose grasp of grammar (viz. “Its” minus the apostrophe) is particularly close to my definition of “poorly written”. My excuse is I do this for fun....
As if I would stoop so low....
Yeah right: Thomas Gladysz, thank you for you’re [irony] feedback.
You can easily do better than that can’t you? So here’s the deal. You send me your e-mail address and I send you a PDF copy of The Beige Beetle. You read it at your leisure, gather your thoughts, and then write a review (of whatever length) that simply needs to be honest. I am happy to receive constructive criticism, although praise tends to go down pretty well too.
Here is the link to what a couple of readers had to say... I really hope you’ll want to get involved.