Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why you should buy this book

I am often amazed at the generosity of writers towards someone who would be struggling to make the Z List, (i.e. me). Case in point, Charlie Connelly. He was kind enough to drop me a line after reading The Bromley Boys, saying how much he enjoyed it. He seemed a nice enough fellow, so I thought I'd push my luck and ask him for a quote I could use for publicity. Now, despite having a new book of his own to promote, And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History, he got back to me quickly with the following:

"The Bromley Boys is the best football memoir I have ever read. Where Dave Roberts truly succeeds is in making his experiences chime with anyone who grew up as a football fan anywhere and in any era - Dave's Bromley FC in the sixties is my Charlton Athletic in the eighties; the experiences are timeless and universal. He relates his story with irresistable charm and sharp self-deprecating wit, and at the turn of every page I found myself shouting, "me too! me too!" You don't have to be a Bromley supporter to love this book. You don't even have to have heard of Bromley. Dave Roberts is every small boy in every town who ever loved a football team, and The Bromley Boys deserves to be a classic."

As if that wasn't enough, he wrote to some of his media contacts asking them to help give The Bromley Boys some publicity. Nice or what? Clearly, you should now buy his book - it was Radio 4's Book of the Week recently and has had great reviews.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Amazon nightmare

I had been feeling pretty good about the book recently. Great reviews, some lovely emails from readers and a good December sales-wise. Then I made the mistake of checking my Amazon ranking, confident it would be around the 3000 mark, which is where it was last time I looked.
As you can see for yourself, I was a long, long way off. The Bromley Boys has fallen all the way down to 185,944th place . How could that be? Did this mean that NOT ONE PERSON had bought it from Amazon ALL YEAR.
I even considered buying a copy myself, just to bring the ranking down a bit, but then realised I had nothing left on my credit card.
Please, someone. Buy a copy and put me out of my misery.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The great Bromley Boys traffic light controversy.

There is an incident in The Bromley Boys where I am being chased by skinheads, on my way home from watching Bromley. I am on my bike, they are on foot. I reach the traffic lights at Shortlands Station, which have just turned red. Luckily, they soon turn green and I make my escape.
Not so, according to an email I received this week. My correspondent tells me that this was simply not credible as "that particular sets of lights took an extraordinary long time to change." He even offered evidence to support his argument, saying that they remained red for "precisely the duration of 'That'll be the day' by Buddy Holly, 1min 40secs."
As a final assault on the veracity of my memory, he concludes: "So I fancy the lights were already red when you first set eyes upon them."
Pedantic? I'd like to say so, but as the writer became my best friend a few years after the book was set, I suspect his recollection is better than mine.