It’s about one of my books. No surprise there, then. But this is a book that’s very special to me. You see, I wrote it as a sort of therapeutic exercise while I was recovering from a near-fatal stroke several years ago. Well, that’s not strictly true. I wrote the original book on which it is based nearly forty years ago. And then I wrote a book about the writing of the original book – and about my life since then. Mmmm. It’s all very confusing, isn’t it?
What I can say is that, as far as I know, those who have read the book in its entirety have found it a rewarding experience. Author, publisher and good friend Cally Phillips, who knows of what she speaks, called it “remarkable”. My old virtual pal George Polley said it was “fascinating and important”. My ex-publisher Tim Roux found it “extremely seductive”. And author, publisher and reviewer extraordinaire Diane Nelson declared that she had been “gobsmacked” by it.
So a pain or a pleasure depending on your reading tastes – or your reading stamina. Whatever, the book is still very special to me. And that is why, as founder, manager and chief bottle-washer of McStorytellers, the publisher, I’ve put it forward for The People’s Book Prize Winter 2014/2015 Collection.
Which brings me at last to that Christmas wish. No, I don’t want you to rush off and read the book; spare yourself the pain – or the pleasure. My wish is for you to spend five minutes instead between now and the end of February next year by going to the link below, registering, casting your vote for the book and perhaps even leaving a wee comment, something like “Awesome!” or “Fandabbydozy!”
The People’s Book Prize – The Preservation of “The Olive Branch”
Now, before you go all Leeds United on me and call me a cheeky beggar, you may want to remember that I’m the guy who spends much of his time promoting other Scots-connected authors by publishing their stories and sometimes their books – for free. If I’ve helped you out in that way in the past, now’s your chance to repay the favour with a wee Christmas present.
Whether or not you’ve read or will read the book, whether or not you take the time to vote for it, please have a very Merry Christmas wherever you are!