Lifers: First the Doorstep, then the Mind?

You’ve got to arrive somewhere if you’re ever to enter people’s lives and the doorstep is as good a place as any. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself as my Twitter account is increasingly packed with images people have sent me and their friends, of The Lifers’ Club on their doorsteps, desktops (spot the MDF), and in one notably scary instance, their dentist’s chair! Then these pictures get re-Tweeted and Favourited, and before I know it the cover of Lifers is everywhere. HOORAY! That’s why I wrote (and re-wrote) it: to be read and (hopefully) enjoyed. So if you’ve just received your copy and you inhabit the Twittersphere, then please Tweet it; if I may coin a phrase: many Tweets make a Cheer! I must say that publishing through Unbound is proving an extraordinary experience. Over the years I have published lots of books, but the only feedback I’ve received from readers has been at Book Fairs – gigs like Hay-on-Wye or Ilkley – or when I bump into people by accident, in the train or supermarket – although having said that, I’ve never actually seen anyone reading one of my books in public, like in a bus, or on the London Underground. It’s always something that comes up in conversation. You could say that up until now, my contact with readers has been rather distant – almost at one remove. But not with Unbound. I’ve had Tweets that have been sent me when the book is first received, then at various times during its reading and then something at the end, when it’s finished. So far (thank Heavens!) the comments have all been kind – enthusiastic, even. It seems to have been a hard one to put down – which is what I intended. I think readers might find AC2 a bit different. I hope it’ll be a good read, but it’s turning out to be more reflective. Alan has been bruised by his experiences in the Lifers’ Club and he’s a bit older and wiser. It’s again set in the Fens, this time on a dig-cum-television-shoot and has benefited a lot from all the films I made for Time Team and my own docs for Channel  4. I have to say I’m very much enjoying writing it – and in my experience that will make for a happier read, too. The main thing is that I’ve really appreciated what readers have had to say. Without their encouragement I might well have given up the attempt to change tracks from non-fiction to fiction. So a million thanks to all my subscribers and buyers. Do come to Ilkley (I’ll be speaking there on Sunday October 5th) and of course I’ll be at Hay-on-Wye in 2015. I’d be surprised if my publicists at Unbound and Penguin don’t manage to find any other gigs before then. Anyhow, I’ll keep you posted in this blog. But again (and I can’t say it enough): MANY, MANY thanks for all your good wishes and encouragement. I really do appreciate it! So to finish I’d like to include a selection of the pictures of Lifers that people were good enough to Tweet. Spot the floors, the MDF desktops and of course the dentist’s chair. And I don’t want to sound pretentious, but these aren’t photos of a book cover: they’re snapshots of time and emotional connection – and I for one, find them very powerful and evocative. I suppose you could say they illustrate the reasons why I persist in writing… Btz2fKFCYAAQjkG BtzBQaACEAE_zpc BtzpISsCEAARsJF BuJ5g7QCMAA8KZp BunmNnCIQAAWHZJ BuXVk1QCYAA0eyo Bt0BQWUIAAAXBKP Bt3QiSKIEAAezbm Bt4G5lJIUAA0o_c Btp6pB-IQAEqa0N BtxtknFCEAAfKHC Btycsq-IQAAvv9F BtyD31LIgAAvltr Btz1jHWCQAE9hvd

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