This is my 100th blog. I wrote my first blog on 22nd March 2009, so that averages out at just under 2 blogs per month: not prolific, but not too bad.
My inspiration for starting the blog was to talk about the field research for my second book, The Story of Gloucester’s Pubs, so it seems appropriate that I should use this 100th blog to talk about my latest project: my third book, Gloucester Then and Now.
This bug for writing is a fairly recent thing; I got a bee in my bonnet about writing a book on Gloucester, my home city, back in the summer of 2005. Much to my amazement, I found a publisher, Suttons, who were willing to work with me. Funnily enough, my initial working title for that first book was Gloucester: Now and Then, but it was published in April 2007 as The Story of Gloucester.
Having been bitten by the bug it was perhaps inevitable that I’d start thinking about a second book. By this time Suttons had morphed into Tempus and then The History Press. Once a reasonable time had passed to assess that my first book was selling they were happy to work with me on Gloucester’s Pubs.
When I first set out I didn’t really believe that I would get a book published, so imagine my surprise when for book number three my publisher came to me to ask me to write it!
I didn’t anticipate writing a third book on Gloucester, but The History Press are working on a series of ‘Then and Now’ titles and when it came to Gloucester I’m chuffed to say they thought of me.
The concept for Gloucester Then and Now is very simple but very effective, so I was keen to be involved. The book will consist of a series of old photographs, each accompanied by a modern photograph taken from the same spot. This is great because, although there are any number of books already out there showing old photographs, it is often difficult to work out where they are in the modern city. Of course, this means that I have the job of working this out, and replicating the old pictures is not as easy as you might think!
I signed the contract last week, immediately before going off on holiday, so now I really have to start cracking on it: I am up against some pretty tight deadlines as my draft has to be complete by the end of the year.
I obviously have a number of old pictures in my collection already, but need to source more – I am especially keen to get hold of pictures which have not been published widely before and particularly any of the industrial areas around Bristol Road. If you have any old pictures you’d be willing to let me use I’d be delighted to hear from you!
Right, now must get cracking. But first, perhaps some blogging about my holiday….