Archive for books

Author interview – Calvin Wade

Posted in Authors, Books, FA Cup, Family life, Football with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I first came across author Clavin Wade after reading his very enjoyable ‘Another Saturday & Sweet F.A’, where he follows a team from the very start of the FA Cup right through to the FA Cup final. He has since  written two more books covering the FA Trophy and FA Vase. If that wasn’t enough he has also written a series of fiction books! You can find out more about his books on his Amazon page.

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What inspired you to start writing and how did you manage to get your writing noticed

From the age of about 17 or 18, I was always writing things that I never finished and then one day, in 2006 (by which time I was 35) I was listening to Radio 5 Live and they were wanting listeners to write 5 minute monologues with a World Cup theme for Johnny Vegas, Sheridan Smith or Kwame Kwei-Armah from Casualty. I thought I could write a pretty funny one for Johnny Vegas so I wrote it flat out in about fifteen minutes and sent it off. Luckily the BBC liked it and it was the first entry to air with Johnny Vegas performing it. It was played on the first day of the World Cup and then again on a Christmas Day special. It was called ‘I Hate Football’ and it was about Johnny Vegas’ character hating football but then falling in love with a football mad lady who had a life sized poster of Wayne Rooney above their bed and every night he had to lift her up so she could kiss his fourth metatarsal better.

From that very small taste of success, I thought I could write a book so spent about three years writing a very long novel called ‘Forever Is Over‘. Initially, I just badgered friends and friends of friends to buy it and then word of mouth led to the Irish novelist Cathy Kelly hearing about it and she put me in touch with the directors of a London literacy agency called Curtis Brown. They ended up dropping me fairly quickly (as they were dealing with proper literary stars like Jojo Moyes) but they passed on some invaluable advice including to get my book on to Kindle as soon as possible and that’s when the hundreds of sales became tens of thousands of sales (unfortunately it never became hundreds of thousands or millions)!

Who would you say are authors you admire and why?

I have always liked writers who can tell a great tale without necessarily having to confuse me with long words. When I was in my twenties I loved John Irving’s books (I still do) and then writers like Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons came along when I was in my thirties and I found their stuff very readable. More recently I’ve really enjoyed Matthew Quick’s ‘The Silver Linings Play Book’.

You have written a number of fiction books. Which do you find easier to write, non-fiction or fiction?

I find non-fiction a million times easier to write than fiction! As a child I always kept a diary which was probably quite unusual for a boy. My non-fiction is probably just an extension of that. Grown up diary writing with a footballing theme. With fiction, I really need to be in the mood to write it and have to think hard about what direction I want things to go in and who would say what and why. With non-fiction, everyone else creates the events for me and I just write about them. I think I have probably overdone the footballing books now though and if I write another non-fiction book it will be horse racing or cricket.

How did  you meet up with Alan Oliver?

It was pure fate. I had decided to go to every round of the FA Cup and after the draw was made decided to start at West Didsbury & Chorlton v Abbey Hey. There were two reasons for this, firstly because I used to live in both West Didsbury & Chorlton as a student and secondly, because the winners were due to play Burscough, a team I had briefly played for. Alan had also decided to do every round that season and as a Mancunian had also decided to start at West Didsbury & Chorlton. 24 hours before the game, I read something on WD&C’s website about Alan so contacted him, we met up at the first game and have been mates since. Alan is a proper ‘groundhopper’ whilst I am just a football fan.

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Your books are very open about your personal life….

It’s very natural for me to be candid and I think the hardest bit is to hold back a little to avoid upsetting other people who may not be as candid as me. My wife, for example, is always telling me off for letting everyone know our business good or bad! My wife is, in many ways, a lot more private than I am, so I have to bear that in mind.

Highs and lows of Everton’s current season…

The highs from a general perspective has been Koeman turning around the gradual depressing slide under Roberto Martinez and returning to being a Top 7 side. Hopefully (even if Lukaku and Barkley go) we can build further on it next season. Seamus Coleman was having a great season which was a high but then his broken leg on international duty was the real low.

Who would  you like Everton to sign?

He has his critics but I think Joe Hart is a far better keeper than any of the four keepers on Merseyside at the moment so if we could afford him, I would like Hart. I would also like us to further strengthen the spine of the side, we will need a centre back (as Jags can’t go on forever), a central defensive midfielder (as the same applies to Gareth Barry) and a centre forward (as Lukaku wants to move on and I think there will be a bid to tempt him this summer).

Do you think non-League is undergoing a resurgence?

Non-League crowds remain healthy helped by a lot of people being priced out of Premier League fixtures. Personally I found the FA Trophy campaign just as enjoyable as the FA Cup and enjoy going to watch the likes of Southport, Chorley or North Ferriby United almost as much as watching Everton. In the North West though, it has been disappointing to see Southport, Burscough and Skelmersdale United all going through very difficult times.

Other Footy Stuff...

My eldest son is now an under 18 at Rochdale so I enjoy watching him (and my other son) play most of all. Tomorrow (I’m writing this on Friday 21st April) I am off down to Shrewsbury to watch Shrewsbury v Rochdale (u18s) which will be great. Whilst mentioning Rochdale, I’ve probably seen their first team six or seven times this season and enjoy the family feel they still manage to retain there. They also manage to punch above their weight so I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing them surprise a number of sides at Spotland. I am excited about next season as it will be my son’s last season in the Academy and I am hoping he can push on and earn himself a professional contract.

Book Links

mybook.to/calvinwfio

mybook.to/calvinwanothersat

Hot Air Literary Festival 2016

Posted in Authors, Books, News, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake
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A true celebration of outstanding writing and brilliant books, the UK’s only “festival in a factory” Hot Air Literary Festival 2016 returns to the creative surroundings of the Emma Bridgewater Factory in Stoke-on-Trent from 9-11 June and will welcome the very best writers, novelists, poets and playwrights to the city to inspire and foster a love of books and reading.

The Festival opens on Thursday 9 June with one of Britain’s finest novelists Nick Hornby, leading international ceramicist Edmund de Waal, acclaimed Roman historian Mary Beard and Emma Bridgewater herself in conversation at the factory that makes her iconic ceramics to discuss celebrating thirty years of design inspirations.

Joining the line up on Friday 10 June will be one of Channel 4’s most popular presenters Kirstie Allsopp talking about the universal need to make, award winning novelist Meg Rosoff discussing her first book for adults and former England cricketer Graeme Fowler in conversation about his starkly revelatory autobiography. The Festival also marks the upcoming centenary of the Russian Revolution with historian Orlando Figes and Stoke Central MP Tristram Hunt considers the ten cities that made the British Empire

HotAir 2016’s Saturday programme is packed with fun for younger book lovers kicking off with Cressida Cowell, author of the phenomenally successful How to Train Your Dragon series which have now been turned into two hit movies. Cressida will share top tips on becoming an author or illustrator, behind-the-scenes details about how the books became films and promises to help youngsters to learn some Dragonese!

As the stage version of David Walliam’s brilliant book Gangsta Granny hits Stoke’s Regent Theatre the same week as the Festival, kids aged 7 to 11 can get involved in a creative, making workshop based on the show with its designer Jackie Trousdale.

Also on Saturday 11 June, historian Juliet Nicolson takes us through five generations of inspiring women in her family and inspiring gardener, cook and former doctor Sarah Raven shares her new cannon of healthy recipes and Simon Jenkins assesses England’s one thousand greatest houses.

Hot Air 2016 also celebrates local writing talent and the Festival is delighted to welcome Burslem born author Lisa Blower in conversation with Staffordshire University academic Dr Catherine Burgass. We will also be considering Poetic Reflections on Stoke-on-Trent with poets from and inspired by North Staffordshire.

The Festival aims to be a platform for aspiring writers and will showcase young writing talent with Writing West Midlands and hear from London literary agent Juliet Mushens, published local writer Misha Urwin and new author Caroline Lea in a special session about How to Get Published.

Adapting written work for the stage is the topic for discussion with the New Vic Theatre’s Theresa Heskins and writer Geraldine McCaughrean and Around the Footlights with Mick Escott considers the North Staffs theatre’s contribution in the context of the national stage scene.

This year’s festival finale, hosted by Emma Bridgewater, celebrates the phenomenon of the BBC2’s Great British Pottery Throw Down with renowned potter and judge Keith Brymer-Jones, plus finalists from the programme to discuss the spotlight the show has shone on The Potteries.

“The Festival is now firmly established as an annual, cultural highlight for Stoke-on-Trent and the support shown by audiences to make it a success is real triumph,” says Festival Trustee Matthew Rice. “We are absolutely delighted with the superb line up of top name authors coming to Stoke this summer and look forward to welcoming book lovers from far and wide to the Factory in June.”

Tickets for the Hot Air Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival are on sale from 10am on Monday 22 February 2016. For more information and to book visit www.stokeliteraryfestival.org or contact the New Vic Theatre on tel: 01782 313313 or at the theatre box office.

Pennant on the move again & Ben Smith’s book

Posted in Books, Football, Stoke City, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , on January 19, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Jermaine Pennant has signed for Singapore side Tampines Rovers. With Matthew Etherington at Stoke they formed a formidable partnership, however since then Pennant has never really shone.

Currently reading Ben Smith’s ‘Journeyman’, an interesting read about a journeyman footballer who started off in Arsenal’s youth set-up before drifting into lower/non-league football. Honestly written and a fascinating insight to the daily workings of a football club and their footballers, on and off the field. He ended up playing for amongst others Reading, Yeovil Town, Shrewsbury Town and Crawley Town.

Hot Air 2014 – Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival

Posted in Authors, Books, crime writers, Hot Air 2014, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Yes at long last my hometown gets its own literary festival Hot Air 2014. It takes place between 20th and 22nd June 2014 at the Emma Bridgewater factory on Lichfield Street.

Events wise there is Melvyn Bragg (22nd June 4:30pm), Andy McNabb (20th June at 4pm – will he wear a cardboard cut-out across his eyes like on his book covers?) and Joanna Trollope ( 21st June 7:30pm), along with a crime fiction panel and many more authors, further details can be found here

Here is the latest press release:

Following on from the initial launch last month festival goers will be able to purchase event tickets from a reasonable cost of £6 per event to ensure that the festival is accessible to anyone who wishes to come along and share their passion of books, writing and reading.

Too Write Stoke, a creative writing competition in association with The Sentinel, launched in February has already seen an outstanding number of entries with winners being announced during the festival weekend.

The regionally focused competition will have three categories in which people can enter from the under 11’s, under 18’s and adults with the key theme being Stoke-on-Trent. Winners will receive a commemorative trophy produced by Emma Bridgewater, a kindle, book tokens and £200 will be given to the under 18’s schools in support of reading and writing.

Andy McNab, Stoke-on-Trent Literary Festival Patron, commented: “I’m the perfect example of how reading and literacy can change your life, so to be involved with a festival that’s main focus is to make books more accessible and promote literacy to local people is something that I very am keen to be a part of.

“I was thrilled to be asked to be the patron of Stoke-on-Trent’s Literary Festival and feel that my experiences and knowledge lend well to the key messages that the festival is aiming to deliver.”

Tristram Hunt, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central and Shadow Education Secretary, said: “It’s exciting to see such a strong line up of so many well known authors coming to Stoke-on-Trent. The festival is a great way for the city to celebrate the art and craft of writing and the joys of reading in an area that is renowned for its creativity.

“It will not only be of great benefit to local people from an educational point of view but will also help to put Stoke-on-Trent on the literary map. From events that draw focus upon Stoke’s literary heritage to those that have been set within the city’s surroundings the festival programme will provide an exciting forum for all those that attend.”

BBC News – Tom Sharpe, Porterhouse Blue novelist, dies aged 85

Posted in Authors, Books with tags , on June 9, 2013 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22795507

Sad news and a very talented author. Introduced to his books by a maths teacher at school!
Highly recommend ‘The Throwback’, ‘Ancestral Vices’ or the earlier Wilt novels. Avoid his recent books though as sadly they are not a patch on his earlier books.