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The Evergreen in red and white is my first novel. It revolves around Rabbi Howell of Sheffield United, Preston and Liverpool, the first Romani professional and the first Romani international player. It also follows the points of view of his wife, Selina, and Ada, who he falls in love with.
Is it a "football book" ? Not really. No more than Tess of the D'Urbervilles is a "farming book."
It is a story about a footballer: his loves, dilemmas, and choices as he struggles with the morals of Victorian society, class, prejudice, and an ageing body.
The Skipper's Wooing tells the story of Captain Wilson, skipper of the Seamiew, is besotted with a woman he has only observed from a distance. He sees a way to ease is way in to her affections and offers a reward to his crew to help him in his quest. The fun then starts as each of them tries to bag the reward for himself and leads to a lot of bother for each of them as they sail round the South Coast. This is classic British, understated humour, that would translate marvellously to the screen.
“The story of how Captain Wilson, master and Owner of the schooner Seamiew, won the hand of Miss Annis Gething is one which few people, to use an expressive vulgarism, will be able to read ‘with a straight face’.” – The Spectator
“It contains scenes which we shall not be able to recall without a smile for many weeks to come… It is a good story well told and full of humour and drollery.” – The Daily Telegraph
Spirit of Old Essex draws together Arthur Morrison’s lost treasure of a novel Cunning Murrell,a tale of witchcraft, smuggling and country life long lost, together with additional background information on Morrison’s research and inspiration.
“The effect worked by Mr Morrison is one of distinction and charm; yet it is not one which suddenly makes you in love with the book, but one which encroaches, grows and abides.” Morning Post – Sept 1900
Historical Football Stories is a collection of the oldest known football stories including an early P G Wodehouse story: Petticoat Influence - a story told from the point of view of a female Bertie Wooster type, and The Matador of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett. Many of these stories were first published in 1908.
There are also four new stories: three of mine and one by Niall Kennedy, a Partick Thistle historian.
The stories provide huge insights into the obsessions of a certain class, with regards football, at the end of the 19th century.
Put Yourself in his Place is the oldest known Novel set in Sheffield, written by a contemporary of Dickens and Elliott, loosely based on the true story of a London woodcarving-tool maker, James Bacon Addis, who was brought to Sheffield by tool manufacturers Ward and Payne. It is a Victorian melodrama interweaving class, heroism, love, treachery, and tragedy into actual events: the “Sheffield outrages”: battles to protect union membership often through violent means in order to defend labour against capital, the Great Sheffield Flood etc. It all comes together in a happy ending, with all plot threads neatly tied together.
Joe Stepped Off the Train is a new collection of short stories by debut and established authors, all with a war theme: how it affects people and changes lives. It started life as a short story conversation between myself and a colleague: following a short story competition at work for which we both chose the same starting line from the given list (The “Joe Stepped off the Train” of the title), and both coincidentally chose a war theme. We went on to write some more but it fizzled out at 8 stories.
So, in the summer of 2015, I put out an appeal on social media and the blogosphere asking writers to contribute: the idea being that all royalties would be donated to War Child. The result has been a genuine collaborative effort: in compiling the collection I set out to not just accept or reject contributions. I have had my fill of that kind of approach being taken with writers. Instead I chose to work with the writers to make them the best stories they could be.
I have three other novels in different stages of draft.