This blog-post follows the by now familiar pattern - each month I recycle the contents of that month's Mailchimp author's newsletter in a blog-post. Here is the October edition below.
First, though, an appeal: as you started reading, you will have noticed perhaps on the top right-hand-side of the page a blue Follow button. If you were to press this, you would make me - as an author endeavoring (American spelling) to secure publication for my pandemic journal - a very happy man. It's free; no hidden catches. Read on to find out the reasons why this is important to me.
OCTOBER 2020 - UPDATES ON MY NEXT BOOK: 'DYING TO KNOW' - AND MORE JAGO STORIES AND IMAGES
Last month, I explained that my next book is a pandemic journal. That blunt description does not quite capture what is emerging. My two readers, Jessica in the USA and Ingrid in the Netherlands, are satisfied that the seven chapters and 23,000 words I have written so far do indeed satisfy the criteria I have set myself. The book is readable and worth the reading.
Lord Strathcarron, the founder and boss of Unicorn Press, is the publisher who read and accepted my biography of Jago Stone. He has now read the first five chapters of 'Dying to Know' and will consider publication provided I can increase my social media profile. I need more followers.
Ian Strathcarron does not agree with some of the ideas that have surfaced in my head as I run up and down my local hill circuit and which I share through the words I write. Boris Johnson is more acceptable to him than he is to me. But as Ian says, "Business is business!". Niche market books do sell well and there are still plenty of men and women in the world who value the ideas of Jeremy Corbyn even after the December 2019 general election.
My book is a pandemic journal but this is magical realism and there is more than just COVID-19 here. In part, it is an exercise in autobiography. After all, my literary run that fills the pages of the book is a composite of all the local circuit runs made over a period stretching from March 2020 through to the early months of 2021. How can I be certain that I will survive this pandemic? Any of these runs may be my last. Time, therefore, to reflect upon my life and draw the strands together.
The view from the summit of Little Trevalgan looking towards St Ives bay. The church tower is that of St John's in the Fields.
Ingrid has described chapter 1 as sublime. I am honored. I know that what emerged in that opening chapter has established the voice and pace of the rest of the book. Chapter 2 is controversial. Ingrid and Jessica worried that it would alienate some readers. Ian presumably sees the chapter as being successful in business terms, however nonsensical the ideas driving it may be. I see it as a twelve page headliner for the future public inquiry report into the history of our pandemic. The version that has not been whitewashed.
Chapter 6 is the fruit of my work as an historian researching the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19. To produce chapter 7 and provide a layperson's guide to viruses, I became the medical scientist thanks to some brilliant support from an American public health expert.