A New Cover For ‘1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’ (the relaunch!)

I had a great time writing ‘1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’  which I published in 2017. I had an even better time revisiting the book and have relaunched it this week with a new cover. Later, there will also be a collection of four short stories I wrote at the time, all set in 1962.  😊 My dad provided inspiration for this novel. He was a cycling enthusiast, entered races (and won), and he was in his late 20s in 1962 – so the characters were not based on him, or his life story. He just gave me the idea. In 2012, we were watching a programme that marked 50 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dad turned to me and said ‘You know, people were petrified that we would all be blown up, but I just wanted to get a good time in the time trial race I had entered on Sunday.’ This conversation sparked something in me, and the book was born!  Dad helped me with a bit of research, including asking everyone he knew if they remembered how they felt about the looming threat of nuclear war in 1962 – as a person living in the north of England. Interestingly, Mum said she hardly remembered anything about it! 

I have been lucky enough to join a book promotion called ‘Soulful Reads’ which runs from June 19 to July 19. Well worth a nosy, I’ve had a preview of the titles – some will definitely end up on my reading list. 

Click this link : https://books.bookfunnel.com/soulfulreads/t6p3xc0jiz to check out the Soulful Reads promotion.

I will be releasing the prequel to 1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire later this year.

The Queen’s Speech (and other shorts from 1962) is a collection of four short stories I wrote in 2017 when I was researching the novel. I think this prequel will get readers in the mood for reading about 1962.

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Unfortunately, there are no MINI’s in the short story collection, just one in the novel.

Happy reading everyone, have a great weekend, Samantha 🙂

Do Fictional Characters Listen to Music? (in the parallel universe they exist in).

Do fictional characters listen to music?

I remember hearing something on the radio (BBC Radio 6) that stuck in my mind. I am always returning to the past, recalling snippets of random stuff. I then waste almost a full day thinking, doing internet searches and finally, wondering what made me remember this nugget of useless information.

I was on my way home from work (that’s how long ago it was), when I heard a presenter talking about an Irvine Welsh interview.

Apparently, Irvine Welsh compiles a playlist for his characters when writing a novel.

This was on the radio, and as I was driving so I couldn’t write this down… this idea stuck in my head.

(I can’t find the interview on the internet but if you Google Irvin Welsh loads come up for him).

Despite this concept sticking in my head, I don’t remember reading a book since where a playlist was obvious. (Please let me know if you have).

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I must have had music in mind when I wrote some of my books.

In 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire), my character Rose Bradshaw sings (no lyrics were used) Edith Piaf songs to her Uncle Billy.

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

The Curmudgeon Avenue series references plenty of music (without using the lyrics).

In book 2, Harold and Edith get asked a question about Nirvana, at their pub quiz (on accidental proposal night). Later on in the book, they listen to Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band. Wantha and Ricky turn up the ‘CHOONS’ when club classic Shine On by Degrees of Motion is played on the radio.

Book 3 brings the new character Gil Von Black. Patchouli met him at a speed dating event in Radcliffe. Gil Von Black is ‘famous person royalty’ in my fictional version of Whitefield. He is a retired session musician who has played with Black Sabbath and even (ha!) Def Leppard.

Plenty more heavy metal references are dropped in book 4, but it isn’t until book 6 that we get to find out the characters’ guilty pleasures.

Suzanne ‘Toonan’ Rose’s guilty pleasure is Vanilla Ice (remember Ice, Ice Baby?) Edith Ricketts’ guilty pleasure is the theme tune to Murder She Wrote. Wantha Rose doesn’t have any guilty pleasures, Wantha Rose apologises to nobody. Patchouli, however…. well her guilty pleasure is Lionel Richie, the reason for this is a corker. (Sorry, I can’t tell you it would be a massive spoiler).

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All of the advice on the internet is you cannot use song lyrics in your book because of copyright. (Some sites give details of how to ask permission but I presume this will cost). I choose not include lyrics but referring to artists is fine.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

During the second half of this year, I plan to start writing my next standalone novel. The characters have rattled around in my mind for a long time. I think it is time I figure out their tastes in music.

I hope it’s awesome…

Happy reading and writing, Samantha

My #Author Talk at The Tottington Centre #CurmudgeonAvenue #Audiobook News

On Thursday this week, I had the honour to give an author talk about the Curmudgeon Avenue Series at The Tottington Centre in Bury – my home town. I’m a local author and all my books are set in and around the Bury area.

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I invested in a bit of advertising via a Facebook ad and then dragged my husband and parents to bump the numbers up. Not a bad turn out for a Thursday.

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The best thing was, the voice-over actor Lindsay McKinnon who has agreed to narrate Curmudgeon Avenue made the effort to make the forty-minute journey to attend the talk and meet up for the first time!

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This is one of the best things that has happened to me since I’ve been writing. I submitted Curmudgeon Avenue to ACX the audiobook people, and from all the people in the world – a super talented actor with showbiz credentials, Lindsay McKinnon is now bringing Curmudgeon Avenue to life, and she only lives up the road from me! Lindsay’s voice-over narration is brought to us with the name Theatre of The Mind Productions, and I think this really captures what Lindsay is producing. She can do any accent from all over the world and has a real skill for switching from one voice to another. I’m very lucky to meet Lindsay – and so is my book because I think the Curmudgeon Avenue series really lends itself to spoken word.

20191102_092628 (2) Lindsay gave me her business card so it must be real!

Well, my author talk went really well, I read a bit out from my new book The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue and the novel I published two years ago 1962 (an Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire). I plan to do more. as all my books are set around the area of Bury, I am keen to tell my local area that I am a local author!

For the future, there are two more Curmudgeon Avenue books planned and I have loads of ideas for some standalone novels too.

The Tottington Centre is a lovely place and there is loads going on for the community. (Plus a nice tea room cafe) It used to be a library – before that, it was the Town Hall of Tottington and a residential house – imagine a family living there! Fancy! They were running a promotion ‘free book with every brew’ I picked up this one because ‘I know who Ben Elton is’ (!)

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Am I having an identity crisis? I don’t think so, I’m Samantha Henthorn Author. My Curmudgeon Avenue series is a hilarious read – and soon to be listen and I’ll be writing forever!

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whitefield-696x463 Whitefield – the home of Curmudgeon Avenue.

Happy reading everyone, Samantha xx

 

 

1962 Kindle Countdown deal

Marigold Bradshaw was always going to do well for herself in life. This was obvious on the Bradshaw family photograph, captured in sepia when Marigold was fourteen and Rose was age nine. Marigold, imposing and impressive on the back row, shoulders straight, hair behaving itself, brand new dress. The centre of the photograph, the centre of attention, her proudly positioned head articulated ‘I plan to marry well’. Marigold stood above her little sister Rose, perched upon a three-legged stool underneath Marigold. Head bowed, small and shy with her hair in her eyes, and a hand me down dress. Rose had no plan, but in life, received a surprise. Marigold pitied her little sister, but it was not her job to pass judgement; not on a Sunday.

Above is a snippet from chapter one about Ernest’s mother and Auntie Marigold. 1962 is Ernest’s story, he has ambition to become the next cycling champion to hail from 1960s Lancashire… Trouble is, it’s 1962- nuclear war is in the news and his mother is petrified. I hope you will join Ernest in this journey story, especially whilst it is on special offer!https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074P5TNTJ

 

 

I Don’t Know How They do it, Their Eyes Must be all Over Their Heads!

20180322_183857I’ve recently ran a five day free promotion on one of my e-books ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’. This created a self inflicted wild goose chase of networking with social media pages and potential reviewers – one said yes, RESULT! The last time I tried to get people to review me, I gave free books to actual people I know. I have decided to keep plodding on, but before I do try and look at things from the reviewer’s point of view. After all this week’s social networking I have sold about one book to the ten I have promised myself to read! I don’t know how these book reviewers do it! Their eyes must be all over the place! Not to mention, can you imagine not being able to just read an old classic?! I bet they get loads of e-mithers! Nevertheless, I’ve decided to start reviewing – although my priority is writing my next novel, if I read something I like, I’ll share it and if I don’t have anything nice to say, I won’t say anything at all. You won’t catch me posting a two stars with no comment on Goodreads! And you never know, I might get ‘reviewed back’!

That picture above is not representative of the several million (not really it’s about 11 or twelve) indie published books I have downloaded or ordered the paperback of this month waiting to be read. But notice how my father-in-law’s book has sneaked itself on the photo, oh! And one of mine, Piccalilly up there in the top right corner!

Reviewers, I salute you!

Happy Saturday, Samantha.

The Green Viking

I couldn’t help but take a peek at which page my husband is up to reading my novel ‘1962’ (Available from Amazon). Chapter 14 about Ernest’s Green Viking (a type of bicycle):

The month of September clings to its daylight hours; challenging folk to make the most of the month. Grownups are usually preoccupied with preparations for winter, because ‘before you know it, Christmas will be here’. However, Christopher Cunliffe and Ernest Bradshaw were enjoying the last few evenings that included daylight. Monday had involved his mother being in an even worse mood when she got home, Ernest had heard her trying to sing Edith Piaf songs to Uncle Billy, this usually happens when she needs to ‘let off steam’. It is a good job Uncle Billy cannot hear her.

Copyright Samantha Henthorn 2018.20170905_091436

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Nice One!

20170924_155249I got a nice surprise the other day when I was looking at my KDP pages on Amazon. Some kind person has reviewed my book ‘1962’ IN AMERICA!!! Yes it’s true, someone from that massive country has read a book by little me! I am so made up! Thank you whoever you are. In terms of progress, learning about advertising I am reaching the conclusion (in a non-scientific way) that ‘word of mouth’ is the way forward. I’ve been sharing the love all year, reviewing as much as I have time for. This morning I reviewed the bar I went to last night, five stars for The Northern Crafthouse in Whitefield, they have a ‘gin palace’ and everything! That’s another story…

Happy writing, Samantha

1962 the Novel

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My new novel, ‘1962’ is available from today, download or paperback. Both from Amazon.

When Ernest Bradshaw overhears his mother worrying about the threat of nuclear war, he decides to become a cycling champion. However, Ernest is a teenage boy from Bolton, England with no money and no bicycle! Find out how Ernest (and the rest of the world) cope with the events of 1962 in this journey story novel.

1962 is Nearly at the Finish Line!

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After another read through type draft of 1962, I just have a few extras to check and few thousand more words to write.

1962 is the story of Ernest, a teenager with ambition during a time of personal and global adversity. Olympic dreams versus threatened nuclear war.

Ernest lives in Bolton with his mother and Uncle Billy. Rose’s boss, Mr Potts employs Ernest as a delivery boy. Nobody else wanted this job because the route is steep, and the bicycle is heavy. Ernest starts to have cycling ambitions. He has a few problems to overcome, however: lack of money, school bullies, no cycling knowledge, even a teenage love triangle. There is a much bigger problem in the news, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Rose is petrified and tries unsuccessfully to hide this. Ernest only knows about the nuclear situation from overhearing the adults talk. This intensifies Ernest’s ambition because he wants to win a local race (at least) before the world ends. Events conspire against him until Uncle Norman imparts hope, he knows local hero and inspiration Harry Hill the Olympic cyclist.

Without giving too much away, I would like to introduce the characters
Ernest Bradshaw: Age 14 from Bolton lives with his mother and Uncle Billy. He wears glasses. His only interest is cycling. Has not yet noticed teenage girls. He is naive and a daydreamer. Thinks the world is going to end because his mother said so. Idolises his mother.
Rose Constance Bradshaw: Age 44, a greengrocer’s assistant. A single parent, not commonplace in 1962. Has a strong work ethic, tries to instil high standards in Ernest. She is a quiet person, but runs a tight ship at home. Petrified about war, does not fully understand the news. Idolises her son.
William Bradshaw (Uncle Billy) Age 65. Born deaf-mute, retired carpentry assistant. Billy is the surprise supply of generosity in the story. Rose is the only person who understands Billy, and offered him lodgings. He is well loved.
Mr Cecil Potts (Old Potts) Is the son and heir of the local greengrocer. Potts is disappointed in life. He fought in World War II and when he returned, his father ‘promoted him to delivery boy’. He is dismissive of the ‘nuclear’ news. Rose rejected his earlier romantic advances, however he continues to idolise her.
Mrs Smith Middle aged glamorous war widow. One of Ernest’s customers. She takes advantage of the delivery service to increases her “under-the-counter” alcohol intake. She teases Ernest.
Uncle Norman Rose’s wealthy brother in law. A know it all. Owns his own company. He bought the house that Ernest lives in when Ernest’s mother was in financial difficulty. The rent is fair but not subsidised. Sees Rose as an ally, because she still has a shelter in her back yard.
Auntie Mary Rose’s older sister. Realised her ambitions when she married a rich man. Pities Rose. Mary has an ‘outside voice’ that she uses for talking to the neighbours. Mary does not have time to worry about nuclear bombs, she is busy in the garden, which she idolises.
Rusty: Auntie Mary and Uncle Norman’s Red Setter dog. In his old age, he is content with the quiet life and is no longer interested in being scolded for getting his muddy paws on furniture.
Mr Cooley School teacher. Strict and unpredictable. Appears middle aged, is 32. Turns up one day at school unshaven. Gives an unsolicited assembly, educating the pupils about the threat of nuclear war. Buys a Vespa against his wife’s wishes. Becomes an insomniac, spends too much time reading newspapers.
Brian Towers One of Ernest’s customers. Founding member of the East Lancashire International Cycling Club. Formed when ambition motivated Brian to break away from his ‘stuck in the mud’ previous club. Feels the need to fix things for the wife he idolises. Fortunately he does not have to fix the Cuban missile crisis.
Brenda Towers Brian’s wife. Loves cycling so much, they had a cycling themed wedding. No children. Sometimes dismisses her husband, whom she adores. Has ambitions to find and train a female cycling protégé. Provides the cycling club with flasks of tea. Thinks the threat of nuclear war is ‘nothing to do with us’.
Christopher Cunliffe Ernest’s teenage friend. Member of the cycling club. Had an accident resulting in brain damage. Wears a rubber helmet. Despite almost full recovery, he has some personality changes and is now home schooled. Wishes that Ernest would shut up about the war. Becomes jealous of Ernest when Janet fancies him.
Janet Dootson Reluctant member of the cycling club. Initially a loner, obsessed with the Cuban missile crisis news. Considers campaigning, but not sure how. Belittles other appearance-obsessed girls. Brenda Towers sees potential in her as a cyclist. One third of the teenage love triangle. Suffers unrequited love for Ernest.
Cynthia Crosby Works at the same place as Rose, is a workplace bully and makes her life a misery. Her husband is a petty criminal. She bullies her son, Mark, who in turn becomes a school bully. Christine steals vegetables from work.
Mark Crosby Schoolboy. A bully who adheres to an unspoken hierarchy. Initially teases Ernest, then views him differently after an incident with Mr Cooley. He steals from Ernest. Wets himself with fear in the ‘nuclear’ assembly. Gets confused between capitalists and communists.
The Benson Twins Mark Crosby’s gang. Identical twin boys who say very little, but are subservient to Mark. They are larger physically than Ernest, but are the same age. Known to the local police.
Two women in the corner cottage Ernest’s customers. Gossiped about in the village. No one knows if they are sisters, mother and daughter, or lovers.
Harry Hill: Real life Local cycling hero, Olympian whom Ernest idolises. Also Christopher thinks he sees him in the crowd when they are competing in the junior Manchester and district road race.
Edith Piaf Real life French singer whom Rose idolises. She cannot sing herself, and imagines that if they had met they would have been friends. Rose imagines herself asking Edith Piaf for advice.
Miss Little: Janet’s games teacher who reports Janet for being ‘insolent’ when she refuses to play hockey. Janet suggests that her class should be worrying about nuclear war, instead of playing hockey.
Rita and Elaine:Two girls at Janet’s school who cannot understand why Janet is refusing to play hockey. They have no idea what the Cuban missile crisis is.
Mr and Mrs Dootson Janet’s parents. Buy lots of newspapers. Janet’s mother is mostly interested in competing with her friends in the women’s circle.
Paranoid Percy: Is worried that he is going to be recalled to the army and sells his racing bike to Ernest.

Copyright Samantha Henthorn 2017

Hoping for a September release. Happy Thursday, Samantha 🙂