Keith Geddes, published author, is a friend of mine, and lives close by. He’s led a varied life in countries around the world, including South America and Africa. I asked him to share a little of his background with us. It’s always interesting to know the roots of fellow authors. Most have shared a love of books since childhood .... yet not so, Keith.
- 'Hi, Anthony. Well I’m afraid I wasn't much good at English at school, although I did share an English class with Nigel Dempster …. who wrote a gossip column once, I believe …
Nigel Dempster? Wow! Friends in high places, no less.
- My father used to describe me as 'an illiterate scientist' because I read science at Cambridge. I didn't read books much. …. Played too much sport - cricket and golf mainly. After various false starts, I ended up teaching. In those days there were plenty of eccentric characters around in schools - wouldn't be allowed now.
And the writing bit, how did it start?
- Well, I began to jot things down, in a notebook that I kept carefully hidden - all sorts of amusing, scurrilous and unusual incidents.
When did the real interest begin though, Keith?
- I suppose I always thought I'd write something and after I eventually retired from head mastering (after too many years) to sunny Spain, I started to tap away on the computer. From this emerged the first edition of 'Please Sir, there's a snake in the art room' which followed the trials and tribulations of Headmaster Tom Thorne at schools in Twickenham and Nairobi.
Based, no doubt, on your own experiences. And this was your first success?
- Not really, Anthony. I couldn't find a publisher, so I published it myself, selling all 200 copies - and just about recovered the cost.
But I’ve seen it on Amazon. What’s the crack?
- Well, I came across Libros International who were just starting up. They agreed to re-publish my book - provided I rewrote great chunks of it! A lot more work but a better result! So that's now on the market (see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Please-Sir-Theres-Snake-Room/dp/1905988095/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217759820&sr=8-5 ) - and I'm now trying to do a follow up - with Tom Thorne now in Spain and grappling with the Valencian land law and various dubious characters to be found on the Costa Blanca.
Land laws, that’s a subject close to my heart. In WITHOUT REPROACH, I use the vehicle of a deranged old man to highlight the problems with the Valencian land laws. I’m afraid he does a lot of swearing though. – my engineering background surfacing. So, what else do you get involved in? Word has it you keep quite busy.
- Well, just in case writing wasn't enough to be getting on with, I've been dabbling with a paintbrush. In fact I’ve started a website for artists - take a look at http://www.twigaart.com/ if you have a moment!'
Well thanks for sharing with us Keith. Good luck with your book, and good luck with your art. If you will, I'd like you to come back soon and tell us a little about yourlife in exotic places. I know you have a tale to tell.
For more information go to www.keithgeddes.com