Although the announcement has been made on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter I have yet to let you know that the sequel to Our Doris is complete.
Indisputably Doris will be released on Thursday 31st August.
If you go to Amazon you will see that the book had a previous publication date of 1st July, however, I unexpectedly have had a lot of overtime at work since I first submitted the book to Nielsens. Therefore, I had no choice to push the book back so as I could properly give it the attention it deserves.
The official blurb reads: The second in the series of monologues featuring Mrs Doris Copeland of Partridge Mews, atomic housewife, and owner of a rock bun recipe that can make the most secure dentures shudder.
Join her once more as she battles Pandra O’Malley for her position as chairwoman of the WI. Her campaign brings her up against flu, would-be elves, and a bake sale that may just be a cover for more nefarious means.
Told from the perspective of her long-suffering husband ‘arold, it’s no wonder he spends so much time down The Hare and Horse.
I’m very aware that this book has been a long-time coming. The first book only took me four months to write, yet the second has taken over two years. And with good reason.
Indisputably Doris was incredibly difficult to write. I received some strong comments about the first book, they were exceptionally good compliments that I’m grateful to receive, however they left me feeling as though I wouldn’t be able to replicate the tone. I had no idea how I’d managed to craft the book in the first place, and felt as though I were back at square one, as though I had never written anything before.
After I wrote the first book, there was question as to whether I would be made redundant from my job – eventually I managed to find a new position within the company, but those few months of uncertainty were enough to leave me feeling low – with the move came the guilt of having kept my job where others lost theirs.
We also had some bad news within the family at the start of last year and all of the things reached the point I call the period of unfathomable sadness. The very thought of writing left me exhausted and sad, to the point that I gave up writing to re-evaluate what I wanted to write.
I honestly believed I would never write again.
It didn’t bother me.
Once I allowed myself to return to writing, I only wrote poetry and short snippets of prose. After a few months of trying to figure out what sort of writer I want to be, I ended up returning to the world of Partridge Mews.
This time, however, I wished to include things in the book I’d been too scared to write about, matters I thought to serious to include in a series of comedic monologues. I have taken risks and although there’s some trepidation as I worry that folk will despise the book, I’m glad to have written what I wanted to write, rather than what some might have expected.
I’m currently emailing libraries to see whether they’ll let me hold readings there. You can check out my Events page for more details. If you’d like me to come to a library near you, please feel free to contact me or your library and I’ll see what I can do.
There’s also a Goodreads page if you’d like to add the book to your Want to Read Shelf.
I am proud of Indisputably Doris and am most excited to share the story with you.
Until next time, that is all.
Happy New Year!
Although I’ve neglected this blog awfully over the last eight years, it is still here, forever waiting for me to post.
Today I bring glad tidings, wishing you all the best for 2017, providing you with the gift of a free e-version of Our Doris, a hilarious tale written by my good self.
The book is available for free from 01/01/2017 until 05/01/2017, and is my way of celebrating the new year.
It’s also rather short so a great way to build up that Goodreads reading challenge.
Until next time, that is all.
I often cite my influences at my events and one of the authors who helped me throughout the writing and publication of Our Doris is Margaret Holbrook. Margaret is an indie writer I met through the Macclesfield Creative Writing Group. Her work encompasses the entirety of literature with a great wealth of prose, poetry and script under her belt. Margaret’s second book Cul-de-Sac Tales is one of the major inspirations in how I chose to set out my book.
Cul-de-Sac Tales is a series of comedic vignettes that focus on the residents of a cul-de-sac, each short focuses on a different month of the year. All told from the perspective of Rita they are a rather stupendous read.
I interviewed Margaret relating to Cul-de-Sac Tales and her writing process:
- What was your inspiration behind Cul-de-Sac Tales?
MARGARET: I came up with the idea for a character, who then turned into Rita and decided to give her a voice. She had to live in a cul de sac, it would give her a confined territory to operate from. The other characters followed easily once I’d finally shaped up Rita and her husband, Sid.
2. Why did you choose the format of interlinked stories?
MARGARET: Cul de Sac Tales was originally going to be one short story, Bungalows, Cul de Sacs, Neighbours, (the first chapter in the book). It was after that story’s first airing that it was mentioned to me that there could be a series of stories based around the cul de sac. I gave it some thought and began writing, knowing right away that there would have to be a link or some common ground for the story to work as a novella rather than a series of complete pieces.
3. Do your characters draw from people you know in real life?
MARGARET: The characters are totally fictional but some of the things that happen to the characters in the book have actually happened and some of the things the characters say I have heard people say. It’s amazing how good public transport and cafes are for giving unintended inspiration.
4. Will there be any more tales from the cul-de-sac?
MARGARET: It has been suggested to me by readers that they would like to hear more from Rita and her cul de sac neighbours, but I’m not sure that they will.
5. Have you any more projects in the pipeline?
MARGARET: I have a novel that should be out later this year and a poetry collection due out early next year, plus a novel to complete and a collection of short stories – enough to be going on with!
6. How did you start writing?
MARGARET: I’ve always written, I just needed a spur to make me pay it more attention. That spur came when I joined a writing group in Macclesfield.
7. When did you decide to become a writer?
MARGARET: I said when I was 7 that I wanted to write books…and a long time further on I’m pleased to say that I’m doing it.
8. Is there a special time of day that you write?
MARGARET: No! I just write when I can.
9. Do you plot books beforehand or write them off the cuff?
MARGARET: My books are plotted, my short stories are not; they are just written when an idea comes to me.
10. Why did you choose to publish your books independently?
MARGARET: Finding an agent and finding a publisher are both difficult and it seems the older you are the less likely it is to happen so I decided to take the bull by the horns; life’s too short.
11. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of independent publishing are?
MARGARET: The advantages are that I have control over all elements of my books, and that’s a huge thing.
The disadvantages are many; you have to do all the work yourself, everything. You are a writer, publisher, distributor. Getting into bookshops is difficult, getting into bookshop chains is nigh on impossible and unless you’re wealthy to start with you can’t throw money at advertising and publicity. It’s tough…
12. Are there any authors or books that influence your writing?
MARGARET: I read a lot of stuff by many different authors but I like to think I write as me. I hope not to be influenced.
13. How can readers find you?
They can read more about me and my work on: http://www.margaretholbrookwrites.weebly.com/
Events page not to be missed! Also check the shelves of your library or bookshop, I might be there, and if not ask!
Thank you to Margaret for answering these questions. If you haven’t read Margaret’s work before then you ought to, she explores various genres and is doing wonders as an indie writer.
From 11:30-12:30 this Saturday 18th June, myself and Margaret Holbrook will be performing poetry in Sparrow Park, Macclesfeld for the Barnaby Festival.
Choose a theme from the Quangle Wangle hat and we will read the poem related to that theme.
Throughout the festival there will be more of these sessions with an assortment of other poets ready to peddle their wares. Seek them out and support them.
Saturday 18th June
14.30 – 16.00
Sandy Milsom and Phil Poyser
Sunday 19th June
12.30 – 1.30
Diane Cook, Gillian Wallace and Jackie Spry
14.30 – 16.30
Simon Robinson and Zoe Quinlan
Saturday 25th June
12.00 – 14.00
Margaret Holbrook and Joy Winkler
15.00 – 16.00
Jill Walsh and Rob Wheeldon
Sunday 26th June
10.00 – 15.00
Sandy Milsom and Phil Poyser
To celebrate almost a year of being on shelves, the Kindle edition of Our Doris is free from 5th – 6th June 2016 on worldwide Amazon platforms.
To redeem click here
Our Doris is a story I am extremely proud of and I will be forever grateful to the readers, librarians and groups that have supported me in the last year by attending events and purchasing copies of the book.
I am currently in the midst of writing new material meaning I am away from the internet a lot, but whilst I am available I wished to share this gift with you all.
The first installment of Our Doris is available online. Over the next ten weeks I will serialise the entire book on Youtube for your listening entertainment. Make the most of these cold winter nights and warm up with the tales of Our Doris, all told from the perspective of ‘arold, her husband.
“The Partridge Mews Women’s Institute have announced a Garden Safari and Doris Copeland, pillar of the community, with a tenure as Maria in The Sound of Music that involved an awful gastrointestinal bug, plans on securing her position as fifth house.
Join her as she battles ne’er do well slugs, searches for the perfect artisan sausage and comes against her mortal enemy Janice Dooley of Little Street, all whilst maintaining a perfectly Silvakrinned hairstyle.
Told from the perspective of her long-suffering husband ‘arold, a man who would be content to sit at home watching re-runs of Groundforce, this is the first book of monologues featuring Our Doris.’
Copyright Charles Heathcote 2015
Photo Copyright Jill Walsh 2015
Published by Various Altitudes
ISBN 13: 978-0-9932349-0-3
ISBN 10: 0993234909
All rights reserved. The rights of the author have been asserted. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored on a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher or copyright owner.
All the characters in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.