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Thursday, 3 December 2015

There Used To Be A Guy… But He Died


 

 

 
I’m rather pleased with this, the newly commissioned cover of my next book. It’s an account of a bike-ride across Nebraska, which began on the banks of the Missouri, at the state’s lowest point (850 feet above sea level) and ended 630 miles later at the highest, 5,426 feet, out towards the Wyoming line. It was quite a challenge, my first long-distance ride. I suffered with sunburn as the temperature hit the mid-nineties, and by contrast found myself, a few days later, ploughing into a 55 mph head-wind. I ended up cowering at the base of a lone transmitter mast, the only object in sight in a vast, empty landscape scarified by flying dirt. The title was a gift. I was struggling into Willa Cather’s home town, Red Cloud, with a broken front bearing. Surely there was someone in town who could help me fix it? I asked a guy sitting outside the barber shop, and that was his reply.   

It’s been a busy six weeks since we returned from the States. I have just completed a revised 90,000-word history of the York Brewery (http://www.york-brewery.co.uk/) and will be meeting with my client next week to look through his photographs, and to confer with an artist. We have a number of amusing incidents in the book which ought to translate into cartoons. So, while the brewery’s founder goes through the manuscript, I’m taking a short breather, bracing myself for the fun task of formatting this new book. I’m hoping to have the e-version and a hard copy available early in January.