Friday, 30 October 2015
I met up with the lovely Clare Grogan last year after she agreed to be in the book. She was performing an Altered Images set at Let's Rock in Southampton. The day turned out to be quite eventful including how I managed to get myself thrown out of the press pit whilst photographing her as the chapter in the book will describe. I took photos of the performance and then a special shot back stage after having had a chat with her. Clare's husband Stephen has had bowel cancer and it was fascinating talking to her about our own experiences of having a family member with bowel cancer. Here's a photo I took during her performance that won't be in the book.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015
So here is the printed out hard copy of the new book. Whilst I have continued to upload copies for digital proofing and formatting, this manuscript will be sent up to a great friend of mum's who is going to proof read it for me. Anne Manson has a background in journalism including working for The Times. She will be able to cast her expert eye over the text and pick up any errors / typos there might be that my untrained eye has missed.
Once this has been done, I will be able to upload the final copies and order a physical proof. So hopefully if that comes back and is OK I will be able to press the green light and put the book up live with all the links for people to buy a copy. The book will be coming out in 6"x9" paperback, 8.5"x11" hardback, and as an ebook. I think that by going with a November 27th publication date, I will not be rushing it out, ensuring everything is right. I will be able to have a build up to its release and see if I can attract some publicity. There is a good possibility that anyone who pre-orders the physical book on my own website or through me directly will get it before that date.
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
Here is the front cover design for the book! :-) I have been working on this for some months in between photographing people. I came up with the idea for the human head filled with images of some of the people participating quite some time ago. The biggest decision was whether to use one bigger head or two smaller heads. It was only when the fundraising mugs were printed with the two heads did I finally decide to go with two heads.
I appreciate I am never going to win any design contests :-) However I am very pleased with this design and hopefully it will look great on the physical books. Most importantly I did it all myself, because there was a point when I was thinking about having to get it done for me by one of these services you can easily source on the internet. I enjoy playing with photo editing software and I made the layout using Corel PaintShop Pro. I now have a much greater understanding of the use of layers!
I would wager that there isn't one person out there who could name all the faces :-)
Depending on the proofs being OK the book will hopefully be published as a paperback, hardback and ebook between November 16th and November 30th. Once I am happy with the physical proofs I will be able to upload the pre-order links and confirm the release date.
Sunday, 25 October 2015
Right back at the start of the Lives & Times book I spent some time in the company of Horace Panter at his house in Coventry. He is the bass player in The Specials and also a respected artist, and I got to see him at work in his studio. He was a real gentleman being ever so helpful and a really interesting man to talk to. I got some great photos for the book and lots of anecdotes from him. He also makes a mean cup of tea! Having met him I read his biography on the band Ska'd For Life which is absolutely fascinating. I also purchased one of Horace's cassette prints which is now adorning one of the walls in my living room. Another great chapter in the making for the book.
He has sent this video message of support... well he sent 3 video clips but only 1 is broadcastable :)
Check out Horace's website http://www.horacepanterart.com/ where you can see his fascinating art.
Sunday, 18 October 2015
I met and photographed Dave Sharp, the original guitarist with The Alarm, at his recent acoustic gig at The Railway Inn, Winchester. I had been on Dave's trail for the book ever since I had photographed Twist & Eddie from the band a year or so ago, but he had proved to be somewhat elusive. In fact having pretty much given up hope of hearing anything I was delighted when Dave emailed just a couple of days before the gig and he was very happy to be part of it.
Dave was very enthusiastic and was keen that the photos were as good as we could make them. He certainly has a creative eye. I hadn't seen Dave play live for a few years, and the gig was absolutely brilliant. He is a real master craftsman... It's a great venue and I was lucky enough to see a bit of the soundcheck where Dave went to great lengths to ensure he got the sound absolutely right.
So I have managed to meet and photograph all four original members of The Alarm for the book. Short of getting them together in the same room this is quite an achievement and one I am really pleased about.
Tuesday, 13 October 2015
Last Friday we got the bad news that mum's cancer has returned. Once again she has a cancerous nodule on her left lung which is a secondary cancer from her bowel. It's early days as far as a treatment path goes, but the hope is that they will be able to operate to remove it. This will be the 4th time she has had to endure this procedure. She will have a PET scan in the next couple of weeks and then an appointment with the lung consultant who has operated on her three times previously.
When I started the new book at the beginning of 2014 mum was in remission from bowel cancer, and we had all kind of put it in the past. Unfortunately this is now the second time that the cancer has come back in the last year, and it means mum now faces her 5th major operation in the last three and a half years. On each previous occasion the speed of her recovery has been quite remarkable, and as devastating as the news is she is already steeling herself for what lies ahead. I don't know where she gets this strength from.. She has just turned 79 so it wasn't the kind of news she wanted going into a year which will see her celebrate her 80th birthday next August. At least by then we shall be raising a glass to celebrate that with all this behind us.
I took the photo a few weeks ago when we went to see mum's granddaughter Anna on her 9th birthday.
The fundraising continues and I shall hopefully have book publication details very soon. In the meantime check out my fundraising website here.
Friday, 2 October 2015
To read about the Lives & Times fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer click here.
Henry Blowers Blofeld is the latest person to be photographed for the book. This was particularly interesting as I met him down my mum's road! Blowers has been one of the main stays on BBC Test Match Special commentating on cricket for over 40 years. Henry was appearing with the former TMS producer Peter Baxter at Norden Farm in Maidenhead, and was very happy to meet with me before the performance to be photographed for the book. It was another wonderful experience and a great addition to the book.
This leaves one final photograph to do, and then the countdown to a November publication (hopefully) can begin.