I have been remiss in not sharing the books that I have been producing for other authors, and I’m doing so now because I am incredibly proud of them. I have a couple of projects on the go at the moment but this post is about those already completed.
Thomas Richard Brown is a local author who wrote Mary Knighton – A Drama of Cruelty, Passion and Courage – a couple of years ago (I wrote a post about it here). This book was quite a feat to publish as it was over 800 pages long! Quite possibly the longest book in independent publishing.
Richard, as he is more generally known, is skilled at writing historical fiction because he writes from his heart and his readers love all the fascinating detail he drops into his novels of the social aspects of a life in the countryside now largely forgotten.
The next novel he wrote was something completely different. Thisbe – A story of a boy and a magical rabbit – was planned as a book for children, and has a fantasy element to it, but the way it is written means that it is popular with adults as well. There were two new challenges for me with this book, firstly it was going to have illustrations, and secondly, Richard wanted a hardback version.
Richard’s projects are always incredibly personal, so much so that he has been part of each story so far, as the character Peter. In Mary Knighton, because of when the book was set (it starts in 1898, and Richard is not that old!) he is only in the Prologue and Epilogue which bookend the story perfectly but in Thisbe he is the main character.
A young Peter makes friends with Len, a disabled rabbit keeper in the village. Much of this story is based on fact and I enjoyed chatting to Richard and hearing how when Len gave him a rabbit he used to show it. Now my idea of showing a rabbit would be to spend many hours travelling around the country doing so. But no, at the time when Richard did it he would deliver his rabbit in its travelling box to Kimbolton Railway Station (now a private house) and the rabbit would be sent by train to a show. It would be collected at the other end, shown, and would then arrive back at the station a few days later, with any certificates and prize money tucked in the slot at one end. Isn’t that amazing!
Richard has a wonderful painting of Len’s cottage in his house and this picture was used for the cover that was beautifully created by Simon Emery. The usual eBook and paperback were produced via Amazon/KDP and Ingram Spark but I was also able to do a hardback via Ingram Spark and although I say so myself it is a thing of beauty.
The black and white illustrations were created by talented local artist, Ruth Murphy, (www.im.rt.com) and Richard was delighted when she did a superb job of depicting Len, the railway station and various different rabbits just as he wanted them.
Richard is not particularly interested in spending his time online doing any marketing for his books but he has still sold well because of the setting. His stories are based in and around his village of Covington and references are made throughout his books to places in Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire and you know what, people are really interested in reading stories set where they live or in areas they know about.
Richard’s latest book, released this summer, was different yet again. A Knock on the Door – A Tragedy – sees Peter as a late teenager. He and a group of friends have little to do in the rural backwater of north Bedfordshire at the time, other than cause mischief. A local benefactor tries to help by providing a place for the group to meet but as the tagline states this is a tragedy and when one of them finds themselves in a terrible situation the eventual outcome is both shocking and sad.
The superb cover illustration was by artist Brenda McKetty (www.brendamcketty.me.uk) and portrays a scene in the book perfectly.
I should also add that this storyline is based, very loosely, on a murder that happened locally many years ago that Richard became peripherally involved in, and, as with so many of life’s experiences, it stuck with him eventually sparking to life in the idea for this tale.