ILLUSTRATION BY
PETER GOULDTHORPE
FROM PAUL JENNINGS’ STORYBOOK, GRANDAD’S GIFTS

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ProfileHi, from me. Here’s a few words about my new biography followed by a few more from the experts.

I started trying to write a biography more than ten years ago but I just couldn’t find the right voice. I would write a few chapters and send them to my editor, Julie Watts. Each time, as always, she was encouraging but I knew in my heart that my efforts weren’t good enough. The work always seemed boring and stilted. Then, early last year (2019) I thought to myself, ‘I’ll try and make it read like a novel. I’ll shift things around a bit and sow a few clues as to what might be going to happen next. I decided to use the techniques that I usually adopt when writing fiction.

I also thought that I would throw in a few tips about writing for kids and some insights into the world of children’s publishing. In addition, I made a vow to let many of my foolish behaviours and secret problems show through. I thought, ‘What’s the point of a memoir if we are not going to share our vulnerabilities and frailties?’

With these thoughts in mind I wrote two sample chapters and sent them to Julie. She said, ‘You have hit the mark this time Paul. I would like to send it to Erica at once.’

Erica Wagner is my publisher. She read the two chapters on the tram and rang me straight away. She said, ‘I have to check with the boss, but I want to publish this book, Paul.’

I was so thrilled and went straight to work. Untwisted has definitely been the most difficult book I have written. Not just because it was the longest (76000 words) nor because it is aimed at adults. But because there are so many problems to face when writing about the past that are not there when one can make the whole story up (as in fiction). So, I decided that I would also share these problems with the readers as my story unfolded.

Now I have finished, others will make their judgements in regard to my success. My publisher Erica sent copies of the manuscript to some literary experts and asked for their opinions. I am sincerely grateful to these people for reading the whole book and offering these generous comments.

Cheers

Instead of putting one of my usual blogs in this section I thought I might post a copy of the first page of my new biography. It is called Untwisted - The story of my life.

 Click on the image to read on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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