Hello and Welcome

Hello and Welcome

My readers often ask the same question. …’ How do you go about writing a book, what systems do you employ, what is your methodology?’

A female writer who I much admired, compared writing a book to giving birth to a child. She said, once you are presented with the child, all memory of undergone pain and anxiety just disappears in the elation of that moment. She supported her case by claiming,if it didn’t, then all women would only ever have one child. Being a man and never having had such a maternal experience, I can offer nothing in either support or denial of her hypothesis. I have though written and published three books, so I can go some way, at least in theory, towards reconciling the analogy. Any author who has gone through the process of creation to publication, knows that this can often be a tortuous journey with much pain and anxiety along the way, all forgotten once the publication is realized. Nevertheless, any method or system that alleviates these anxieties throughout the writing process is very welcome.

With this in mind. On many occasions I have listened to accomplished and popular writers explain the disciplines and systems that they impose and apply when they are writing their books. I have listened with great interest and sometimes with good-hearted envy, as grand explanations involving all kind of schemes, aids and implements have unfolded. If only I could operate in the same way. For it seems to me that whatever systems I try to employ I quickly abandon them. I have come to realize that my own system is one of writing something down at the beginning and just seeing where it takes me. Whilst I appreciate that this is next to useless advice to aspiring writers, it is the honest answer to the question. Conversely and whereas I have no common denominators as far as method is concerned, I do have them for the locations in my book, at least for the current three. This location is Manchester, in the North-West of England. The Red Hat Guide to Manchester City Centre is obviously about what the title suggests and both published books in the Danny Senetti trilogy, A Man of Insignificance and The Looked After Child are predominantly set in and around this great city. With scenes in such places as: The Midland Hotel, Piccadilly Train Station, Victoria Tram Station, Parkhurst Lane, Back Piccadilly and of course some local pubs.

The Red Hat Guide to Manchester City Centre(RHG)

Some books are written and published after years of planning, ambition and deliberation. Others as a reflex accident of chance and coincidence, the RHG is one of the latter. To give some background. For some years, I have been the proprietor of a small hotel in the Peak District foothills. The Springfield Hotel is in Marple and is about fifteen miles south of Manchester. Very often my guests would say to me that they wished to visit Manchester City Centre, which is less than a twenty-minute train journey away. Their time would be limited and the common complaint for the first-time visitor, was that there was a paucity of information about the city. As a native Mancunian also armed with the knowledge that Manchester is the second most visited city in England, I was at first sceptical about this assertion and my original idea was to identify a comprehensive, easy to follow and carry, inexpensive guide book, purchase a stock and sell them, non-profit, to my guests, thus better informing their opinion. However, after spending a whole day visiting Manchester’s bookshops and that ludicrous misnomer that is The Manchester Visitor Information Centre, I was both amazed and disappointed to establish that no such publication existed. There are books on Manchester: History, Churches, Streets, Statues, Architecture, Murderers, Rock-Bands et al. There is even a book on the underground sewers of Manchester. All these books exclude everything else apart from their own subject matter and each one of them appears to be the weight of a Mancunian kerbstone. My guests would have needed a whole month in reading time, study and a medium sized rucksack just to carry around a sample of these.

In reiteration, what was needed, was an easy to carry, simple to follow, comprehensive, low-cost guide which gives information on such, as the city’s: statues, buildings, incidents, sons/daughters and history – but there wasn’t one.

What to do, something or nothing? So, I wrote my own and I hope that you like it

Copyright © 2015 K. C. Dowling

 

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