Friday, 9 November 2012

Lenin and the Mills and Boon Question

This 'no more Mr Nice Guy' business works. Below is an article from Harry Paterson's blog. Harry is normally to be found plying his trade as a rock music journalist, but for the next year he will be under the Five Leaves editorial thumb producing THE book on the miners' strike in Nottinghamshire, to be published in 2014. Harry is interviewing everyone - striking and working miners, politicians, women's support group members, Coal Board officials. The book will be partisan, that is clear, but will present other points of view and will start, as it should, with the history of coal in Nottinghamshire and "Spencerism" in 1926. I'm looking forward to it.

'Friends, comrades, brothers and sisters, I’m delighted to officially announce that I will be signing with Five Leaves Publishing who will be bringing out my book on the miners’ strike in Nottingham, sometime in March 2014, the 30th anniversary of the dispute.
For those who don’t know, my initial synopsis was mercilessly savaged by Managing Editor, Ross Bradshaw. Among the most painful cuts inflicted was this, admittedly hilarious, jibe: “Harry, this is Lenin does Mills and Boon! You lack any objectivity at all!” It gutted me, I’ll be honest, but then I went away, licked my wounds, had a think and wrote a couple of new chapters taking on board Ross’s suggestions. Then a strange thing happened and you other writers will know what I mean; the thing just clicked. Ross’s advice suddenly made sense and I could see exactly where and how I needed to proceed while still retaining the personality and individuality of my prose. Ross The Boss then gave it the thumbs-up, we agreed the deal and presto; we are on, baby!
It’s a subject close to my heart and to that of many of my family. I was 17 when it kicked off and 18 on the very day the miners marched back to work without a settlement. It made a lasting impact on me and millions more of my generation. It’s also a fascinating and thrilling story and like all such stories it has everything; drama, tragedy, triumph, sadness, laughter, bitter defeat and unbreakable pride. It also has an incredible cast of characters featuring heroes, villains, saints, sinners, winners, losers, cowards and fighters and I’m having the ride of my life tracking some of them down and hearing their stories, first hand.
There are many books on the miners’ strike so what makes this one different? I would say because mine is about the dispute in Nottingham, the most strategically important area of the entire strike and, in so many way, it’s a tale of two cities. Believe me, it’s one hell of a story. All I need to do now is write the bloody thing…'

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