Once upon a time…
So how does an ageing martial artist / Texas ranger set out on a journey to become an author? Well I’ve always dabbled in creative activities; indeed, my first business was from the design of an all-weather golf mat – but writing… Holy hell! Blame Martin Ed Chatterton!
Martin is a world renowned illustrator and author of children’s books. However, a few years ago he decided to pen a crime thriller. Random House jumped aboard and so he became published. I read the work, ‘A Dark Place to Die’ and was shocked at the violence within the pages. Martin is not a violent man, he is pleasant, learned and a family man. So I asked the question, ‘Why the violence?’ ‘It sells,’ was the answer. ‘Humm,’ said I, ‘Really? I must give this a go!’ ‘Why not says Martin,’ – and so that was that.
A few weeks later I had 20k words down. I sent the first chapter to Martin (who I guess) stifled his laughter and kindly edited the work. I always knew I had failings in my literary skills but the changes Martin made were in abundance. Truth - one English O’ level just doesn’t cut it. Undeterred I penned 165k words!
Step in Joanne Ormesher. Joanne kindly did a grammar check on the work without giggling. I then asked two people to read the story - Steve Core and Lynn Walton Linacre. Both were entertained but made comments that I worked on. Eventually I mailed several publishers my intro chapters and waited.
Tick tock – nothing!
Bollox to this! Now I was determined to get published. I then asked on Facebook if anyone had experience in self-publishing. Up steps Sean Connolly. Sean read my intro and passed me over to BBC director Davis Lewis Richardson.
We met, David explained. ‘You have talent – shame you can’t write,’ I smiled, debated a strike to the larynx – then asked, 'So what now?'
‘You teach me karate – I’ll teach you to write.’ Deal sealed. One year later after a final edit by David we are good to go.
It’s been a test of durability no question but this was helped by the input of GM Colwell (RIP). When I asked him could I base a hired assassin on his character he smiled and said. ‘How many do I get to top?’
His input was welcomed and his character plays a large part in the book. Indeed, two of his storylines are from his own life experiences, (although he insisted I change them just a tad…) I won’t say which storylines are part truth, I’ll leave that to the reader to assume.
During the writing I remember one day he asked me quite bluntly – ‘Do I get a shag?’
‘No,’ says I, ‘You’re a hitter not a shagger!’
The subsequent tirade was amusing. One month later I saw an opening for him. Ringing him I said. ‘I’ve got you a shag – I’ll print it off and come over for a brew.’ GM chuckled. I arrive at his house, made a brew then dropped the script on his table. GM grasped his spectacles and set to read about his shag. The following is an extract of that story line.
“Colwell paused cautiously at the top of a stone stairway leading to a darkened cellar. His boots echoed coldly with each purposeful downward step until he reached the bottom. His steeled eyes now gazed at the imposing figure in the centre of the dungeon.
Mistress Delaney had positioned all of her nineteen stone, on a king sized bed, adorned with a red silk sheet. Noticing her white mottled flesh, crudely covered in red rose petals, Colwell cringed. In that instant he concluded a few more barrow loads should have been applied. Delaney heaved herself into an all fours position and began pulling what she thought was an erotic expression. The petals that slipped off her body suddenly appeared exhausted by the magnitude of their duty. Colwell allowed himself a smirk. If this task had of been put before him in SAS selection, he would have dropped out!”
GM almost choked on his brew. ‘Woodrow! I’m not fu****g that vile thing F**k off!’
Oh how we laughed. Anyway he relented and the chapter is still in!
Why Woodrow McKane you may ask? Well firstly it’s a cracking name – but that is not the true reason. Quite honestly I do not enjoy the self-promotion which is needed when trying to sell a new book. Using another name allows me broadcast my own worth without conscience. Odd perhaps but it works for me.
So now I am writing book two in the hope that the readers of book one enjoy the tale.
I cannot thank my family and friends enough for the support given in the project. I hope I can repay their faith.
Hats off to Makk publishing - We did it!
Woodrow alias Woodrow.