So, all of the hard work, the soul searching, the occasional moments of personal pain and heartache and the, rather more fortunately, numerous moments that still bring a smile to my face has finally come to fruition.
I took delivery of the hardback copy of My Way this week.
I’m not, I promise you, singing my own praises when I tell you just how good it looks. A high quality, very professional and weighty looking tome that is a tribute to the professional expertise and commitment to quality that Tidbury Publishing have shown throughout the process.
Their work, coupled with that done by Edward Couzens-Lake, my ghostwriter, has resulted in a book which I am very proud of.
I hope you’ll want to read it.
It’s publication hasn’t come without a little story or two of its own. As Ed says, as soon as you choose, whoever you are, to put your head above the public parapet, someone, somewhere, is going to express their opinion on what you have said, done or written.
I like to look at it in the same way as Oscar Wilde, who famously said, ‘There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about’.
Another of Ed’s sayings is that, ‘…everyone has a story to tell’.
He told me that he was growing weary of scanning the nations bookshelves and seeing them dominated by books that had been rushed into production with the intention, time and time again, of revealing the ‘real’ lives and secrets of people who had, all too briefly, subjected their existence into the mass consciousness of the nation before, and as abruptly as they’d arrived on the scene, disappearing again.
You’ll know the sort of individuals I am talking about.
Someone who was drunkenly sick on a TV programme called Which Way Is Essex?, or whatever it’s called. Either that or they became famous for having a surreptitious bonk with someone behind a palm tree on Channel something or others Nookie Island.
Day one meet, day three have a bonk, day ten get married, day fifteen get divorced.
With nothing happening beforehand or afterwards. Nothing of any significance at all.
Yet deemed worthy enough to be rushed out at £11.99 a throw, top of the charts in WH Smith one week and in the 50p bargain bin the next.
They’re not stories. They’re brands.
What Ed wants to do, and I am in full agreement with him, is find out the real stories about life’s unheralded characters, those individuals who have, for one reason or another, had a real impact on all of our lives through their work. The sort of person you might walk past in the street and completely ignore, unaware, as you do so, of what their very genuine contribution to history might have been.
Ed’s own Father spent part of his time in the Army posted in Berlin where one of his duties was looking after the imprisoned Rudolph Hess, Adolf Hitler’s one time deputy who was imprisoned in the cities Spandau Prison after the end of World War Two. A very ordinary man who saw out his life working on the land in Norfolk who had a remarkable story to tell and some amazing memories to go with it.
He and thousands of others. All with their own remarkable stories to tell. Stories that might revolve around events of a national or even international significance and the part that they played.
Typically of that generation, those born in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, they are a modest lot, content to live quiet and unassuming lives without making a fuss.
But think of all those stories, all those memories and recollections that are, day by day, being lost forever.
Ed wants to have the chance to record some of them. To give people the opportunity to share those memories and to leave a legacy that will not only live amongst the rest of us for years to come but for future generations as well.
It’s something we will be working on in the future between us with, ultimately, a percentage of all sales costs and other fees going towards my charitable foundation.
We have, as the introductory words of an old seventies TV programme announced, the technology. We have the expertise and the knowhow, we have the right people.
Let’s not lose all of the great stories and memories that might otherwise be lost forever.
Do you know someone who has led a remarkable life, someone who you and your friends have, all too often said, “…needs to get everything you’ve done in life down in a book”.
Maybe you’ve lived one of those lives yourself, maybe your story is worth telling?
If so, we want to know. We really do.
If all we do is just end up giving you some advice about how to best go about it then so be it.
If we end up working together and produce a book all about your life-well, take it from me. There isn’t a feeling in the world quite like opening a big box and seeing, inside, your own story, with your picture and name on the cover, there for all to see and to read.
Something for my children, for their children and even their children to read. A legacy.
How about sharing yours with the world?
If you’re interested in finding out more, drop me a line via my website. All of the information and initial advice that we give you will be, of course, completely free of charge with no obligation on your part whatsoever.
Everyone really does have a story to tell.
So what’s yours?
Images: Shutterstock, used under licence.