Welcome to the blogsite, Raymond. Thank you for joining us.
Q. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A. I am a West Cumbrian by birth and served my apprenticeship in the foundry industry. In 1984 I had a complete career change, joining Cumbria Constabulary and served for 28yrs in that organisation until retirement in 2012,
Q. Where do you live and do you have a day job?
A. I live on the outskirts of Carlisle, Cumbia and work part time in my former constabulary as an alarms manager, dealing with intruder alarm activations.
Q. When you’re not writing, what leisure time activities or hobbies do you enjoy?
A. My main pastime and fitness regime is walking the lake district fells, looking up bits of local history in relation to events in the county.
Q. Do you have any pets that are part of your household?
A. I walk with my cocker spaniel, Holly; Hollydog to my grandchildren.
Q. Do you like to read or do you prefer to listen to audio books?
A. I only read printed books and don’t possess any portable electronic reading device.
Q. Who are your favourite authors?
A. No particular author, I read up on local history and books on either of the two world wars, though have concentrated predominantly on WWII
Q. What drove you to begin a writing career?
A. It is not so much a writing career I have, I came across a piece of local history that has been forgotten. The incident involved a tragic event in the holiday town of Keswick, yet for some unfathomable reason, it was forgotten by the town. My sole reason for writing the book was to ensure it did not remain forgotten. While researching that subject I have since discovered other unknown incidents of local worth and am currently considering a further book; if that constitutes a career, then it is the uncovering of these facts that drove me.
Q. What do you feel are the greatest challenges facing any writer at the present time?
A. I can only speak for myself in this and would say it has been access to publishers that I found difficult.
Q. Do you have an office or ‘space’ where you write from and is it at home, or elsewhere?
A. I tend to work on a laptop and now have a room in the family home which is my retreat for writing, though not exclusively so. I wake early so have the solitude of the early morning to concentrate on drawing material together and writing it down, whether this is a short ‘blog’ story or material for a historical Lakeland book.
Q. Do you write to a target – word count – every day, or do you have another writing discipline that you could share with us?
A. No, if the rain keeps off I am on the fells, if it pours down, I write.
Q. What inspires you – or has inspired you – to write a particular book?
A. This was an event that had been forgotten, but should never have been. I was driven by the need to ensure it returned to the knowledge of the local populations of Keswick and East Lancashire.
Q. Do you have a current ‘work in progress’? Can you tell us anything about it?
A. I uncovered a reference to a crag called policeman crag. The origin of that name intrigued me and I managed to uncover the reference to a police officer who died on it in 1847. I was able to get a news article published and get that officer added to the national roll of honour. I am still working on a life history of him and it may be that a similar local history book could be the result.
Q. When you have finished writing the book – what do you do next? By that I mean, do you edit the book yourself? Do you design your own book cover? Do you prepare a project plan to market your book?
A. I worked with a local publisher who assisted in the book cover and published it.
Q. What methods have you used to engage with your readership? Social media, press announcements, or book signings? What works for you that you might recommend for others?
A. I will be announcing its launch soon on social media and have contacted local press and radio stations in Cumbria and East Lancashire. I am also attending a number of local literature festivals to further local knowledge of the book.
Q. Which gender and age group are your books targeted at?
A. Both male and female, though I expect it will be mainly read by 40+ age group, being historical.
Q. Where do you see your primary market? The USA, UK, Europe, or elsewhere?
A. Local to Cumbria and East Lancashire, though it is an educational read for anyone interested in how disasters occur.
Q. If you won a million pounds / dollars tomorrow, what would you do with the proceeds?
A. Buy a fine house in the centre of the Lake District.
Q. If you were gifted an air ticket to ‘anywhere’, which destination would you choose above all others and why?
A. I would love to visit Skyros and stand at the grave of Rupert Brooke, author of The Soldier: ‘They shall not grow old ….’
Q. Do you have website or social media page you would like to invite us to visit?
Q. Do you have links on twitter or any other social media sites?
The Derwentwater Disaster by Raymond Greenhow will be available at the following link in March..... http://www.bookscumbria.com/