Waterstones The Author’s Friend

29th December 2006

For a writer to get a book published is only half the battle. The other half is getting it into the bookshops. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now available from all the main book wholesalers so now I have to make book retailers aware of this. With this in mind I called in at my nearest branch of Waterstones in Stockport this morning with a view to getting the name and address of the person at their head office who is in charge of buying books. I shouldn’t have bothered.
I asked the girl behind the counter for the required information but as luck would have it the manager was nearby and overheard me.
“What do you want to know for?” he asked.
“I’m an author.”
“We don’t do local books.” This said with a snotty expression and a disdainful tone of voice. I could have hit him but we authors know that the pen is mightier than the sword so I exercised restraint.
“So if Stephen King or John Grisham lived in Stockport you wouldn’t stock their books,” I said.
“I meant books of local interest.”
“My books aren’t local interest books. It’s me that’s local, not the books.”
He went on: “Anyway if you wanted to get them into Waterstones you’d have to approach the manager of each branch.”
“Are you telling me that Peter Kay dragged his carcass round every branch of Waterstones that you are now selling his book in?”
“It’s different for big names.”
I produced my books from my pocket. “Well would you be interested in stocking these two books from a little name. Who may one day be a big name should you deign to take pity on him and stock his books.” I offered him the books but he didn’t take them.
“It depends. On the deal. Whether we can sell them sale or return, what our discount is, if we get a bigger discount for quantity, all sorts of things. But I’m far too busy to go into that right now, try me in the new year.”
“Fuck off,” I said. Some times the mouth too is mightier than the sword.

Ignore this if you have already read it. My books are priced at £8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for £7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.

My address is –

Terry Ravenscroft, 19 Ventura Court, Ollersett Avenue, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4LL

Dear Air 2000

Football Crazy

Goose!

28th December 2006I answered the door to Atkins Down The Road. He was carrying what looked to be a coil of washing line. “What’s the rope for?” I said, in a state of suspicion, which isn’t a bad state to be in when dealing with Atkins.
“Didn’t you once mention that you used to be in the Boy Scouts?” he said, ignoring my query about the rope.  It didn’t take me long to find out.
“Can you do a noose?,” he asked, stepping inside.
Alarm bells rang. Atkins has been having an ongoing battle of wills with the paperboy, who insists on leaving the majority of his Daily Mail on the outside side of his letter box where it gets wet through every time it happens to be raining when the paper is delivered.
“You’re not going to hang the paperboy, are you? You’ve only got to tip him at Christmas like everybody else and he’d push your paper all the way through.”
“I’ve never tipped in my life and I don’t intend starting now,” said Atkins. “It’s against my religion. Anyway I’m not going to hang the paperboy, it’s for the wife?
“You’re going to hang Meg?”
Atkins looked at me impatiently. “I’m not going to hang anybody. She wants a goose for our New Year’s Day dinner this year.”
It transpired that Mrs Atkins Down The Road had been very disappointed with the turkey that they’d had for Christmas Day lunch (although not as disappointed as the turkey I’d guess), and wasn’t about to risk another disappointment. Atkins had been charged with providing a goose.
“That still doesn’t explain why you want a noose,” I said, on learning this.
“Have you seen the price of them?” said Atkins. “If she thinks I’m forking out fifty quid for a goose she can think again. No, there’s a flock of about a hundred Canada geese on the canal. I’m going to bag one. Lasso one. Make it wish it had never left Canada. When you’ve made me a noose.”
“You’re going to lasso one of the Canada geese on the canal?”
“Well why not?”
“Well for one thing they’re protected.”
“What, you mean they were shin pads or something? Give over. Anyway I’m having one, protected or not.” He proffered the rope. “So if you’ll be good enough to do the honours?”
I took the rope off him. “It isn’t a noose you want on the end of it,” I said, “It’s a slip knot. You want a lariat, like cowboys use.”
“That’s it, a lariat, make me a lariat.”
“And you can use a lariat?”
“We won’t be able to miss. They’re all together in a big flock just sat there paddling, the noose bit is bound to go over the neck of one of them.”
Normally when Atkins says ‘we’, automatically incorporating me into one of his wild schemes, I demur, or at the very least take some time to consider what I might be getting myself into. Not this time. Atkins lassoing a goose was not a sight I wanted to miss out on. Geese, especially large Canada Geese, are very strong birds, and once Atkins had tightened the lasso round the neck of one of them it would be a racing certainty that it would be the goose dragging Atkins into the canal rather than Atkins dragging the goose out of it.
After I had made the lariat and Atkins had had a few practice throws at our garden gnome – which he managed to lasso once out of twelve attempts – we set off for the canal, with Atkins claiming that he would have had much more success with the gnome had there been as many of them, and as closely bunched together, as there were Canada geese.
We arrived at the canal. The geese were only yards away. Atkins was correct, it would be more difficult to miss them than lasso one. He commenced to prove this by lassoing one at the first attempt. With a smirk and a cry of ‘yahooo’ that would have done credit to Hopalong Cassidy he pulled the lariat tight. Then a strange thing happened. As I’ve just said, I expected the goose to pull Atkins into the canal. Not a bit of it. Instead, it sort of stood up in the water, rather like a horse rearing up, then flew straight at us at about a hundred miles an hour.
“Fuck me!” shouted Atkins.
I didn’t say anything. Speechless people can’t. I just turned, flew across the towpath and leapt over the stone wall into a farmer’s field. Just before leaping I turned to see the goose batting Atkins round the head with its huge wings, my friend trying unsuccessfully both to shield himself with his arms and fight the beast off at the same time.
I recovered my powers of speech just enough to shout “Let go of the bloody rope!” before landing on the other side of the wall and haring off down the field fifty yards or so before coming to a halt. I turned to look round. A second or so later a dishevelled and sorry-looking Atkins appeared at the wall pulling feather from his hair.
“You got rid of it then?” I called.
“It flew off,” he answered, then added, sorrowfully, “So did all its mates.”
I made my way back to him. “What are you going to do?” I asked.
“She’ll have to settle for duck,” he said. “I prefer duck anyway.”

Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at £8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for £7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.My address is –

Terry Ravenscroft, 19 Ventura Court, Ollersett Avenue, New Mills, High Peak, SK22 4LL

> Dear Air 2000

Football Crazy

England’s Strategic Plans

27th December 2006The news from Australia that the England cricket team’s bowling strategic plans to dismiss the Aussie batsmen had been stolen from their dressing room and e-mailed to the Australian team does not come as a surprise to me following the news last week that the England football team’s strategic plans to avoid defeat in their next match to had been leaked. Did you miss that? If you did, here it is again.

(1) Don’t turn up.
(2) We probably won’t be able to get away with (1) so try to score a goal. Since this ploy has been used in the past only on very rare occasions it will confuse the opposition and could lead to actually scoring a goal.
(3) The only consistent performer in the back four is John Terry. Terry is a hard case and has form. Select a back four of similar qualities. Aim for a line-up of Tony Soprano, Paulie Walnuts, John Terry and Christopher Moltosanti, with No Nose Charlie as back-up.
(4) Reinstate David Seaman as goalkeeper. This will lull the opposition into a false sense of security as they will think they can score any time they feel like it instead of almost any time they feel like it as is the case with the present cripple we have between the sticks.
(5) Try to stop the opposition getting the ball. This can be achieved by (a) passing the ball to a team mate (not recommended as the England team have proved time and time again that they are incapable of this) or (b) Booting the ball into the crowd whenever the opportunity arises (recommended, as it is unknown for a member of the crowd to have scored a goal, except on a couple of occasions against England, which can be regarded as flukes).
(6) Bring back Beckham in the wide right position. Not David, Victoria. For some strange reason some men find her attractive and she could well prove to be a distraction to the opposing players, especially if she gets her tits out, thus helping us to implement (2) to the maximum.
(7) Make better use of Peter Crouch. One of the ways to make better use of him would be to use him as the crossbar in a decoy set of goalposts.
(8) Now that Rio Ferdinand has been relieved of his role in central defence put him in charge of entertainment and relaxation. Maybe a little coke will help the players perform better because they’re certainly shite without it.
(9) Sack manager Steve McClaren and replace him with Ron (I love niggers) Atkinson. A week later sack Atkinson and reinstate McClaren. Fans will be so glad that Atkinson has been discarded that they’ll stop moaning about having McLaren as manager and get behind the team instead of onto McClaren.
(10) Pray the opposing side don’t turn up

 

Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at £8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for £7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return. 

You can write to me at – 

Terry Ravenscroft,
19 Ventura Court,
Ollersett Avenue,
New Mills,
High Peak,
SK22 4LL 

 

Dear Air 2000 

Football Crazy

Quiz Of The Year

26th December 2006

 

At this festive time of the year the newspapers are full of quizzes compiled by lazy idle columnists who can’t be bothered to write their usual column.) “Oh bollocks to ‘em, they’ll all be chilling out if they’re not pissed out of their brains so why shouldn’t I?” Taking a leaf out if their book then, or more rather their newspaper, here is a quiz from a blogger who can’t bothered to write his usual blog. The difference is that I’ve been even lazier than the columnists inasmuch as in my quiz I have provided the answers and you have to supply the questions. So here it is for better or worse (probably worse) –

 

Note. You can only use the question ‘Who is the biggest twat who ever lived?” once, tempting through some of the answers are.

The question to the answer Scaryduck is not ‘Who would Razzamatazz most like to spend a night in bed with?’ although this is the answer to one of the questions.

You can’t use the same question to answer 8 and 9.

ANSWERS

1. Tony Blair

2. Manchester United

3. Haemorrhoids

4. Kristin Scott Thomas

5. Saddam Hussein

6. My left testicle

7. JonnyB

8. Bono

9. A pretentious prick

10. Mount Everest

11. My arse

12. Shergar

13. Keira Knightly

14. A hole in a condom

15. Atkins Down The Road

16. John Prescott

17. A Chihuahua

18. Snot

19. Challenge Anneka

20. Santa Claus

Good luck

Ignore this if you have already read it. My books Dear Air 2000 and Football Crazy are now in print. They are priced at £8.99 each and are available from Amazon, but readers of my blog can buy them direct from me for £7.50 including p & p. Just send me a cheque and I will send the book/books by return.

You can write to me at –

Terry Ravenscroft

19 Ventura Court
Ollersett Avenue

New Mills
High Peak
SK22 4LL

Dear Air 2000

Football Crazy