Sunday, 8 October 2017

Blog tour - The Second Son - Author Spotlight and extract

 Author Spotlight and extract - Andrew Blackman

I am delighted to have Andrew Blackman today on my blog to talk more about himself and his writing in an author spotlight.

Welcome Andrew...

My name is Andrew Shaun Blackman but I prefer Andy, I was born in 1960 in Brighton, England, making me 57 years old.  I came from a loving working-class family, I have one older brother and one younger sister, and although we are do not live close as siblings we keep in touch.

I was once married and got divorced in 1997, so I class myself as single. I have three grown up daughters and 3 grandchildren. I have always been very close to my girls and keep in constant contact, they are without doubt my greatest critics in all things and keep me level headed.

I went to a secondary modern school and did not achieve any qualifications; school in the 1970 was so different than today there was no pressure to gain academic prowess.  So, I left school at sixteen with little education.  I joined the British Army in 1976 and joined the Parachute Regiment, eventually serving for twenty-six years, leaving in 2000, although I only planned to stay for three.  Life in the Army was good; I was like a duck to water.  Although I had a good Army career it did not define me as a man, I am not a looking back person, but a looking forward one, the Army was something I did and now it is over I do not dwell on the past. I do not like the phrase ex-military, I prefer the here and now!

Since I left the Army I eventually joined a large international company, working in the field of IT.  I have continued to do so for the past fifteen years, at present I am the IT desktop support engineer in the Bedworth office.

I currently live alone in my house in Bedworth, Warwickshire.  Bedworth is a little market town between Coventry and Birmingham, in the middle of England.  I love my job and meet various and some interesting people, I think it was because of my job that I had the ability to write my first book, as the characters although not based on any one person, I took traits of different people and merged them into a character, 

This book, of course, is a work of fiction, places are real, but that is where the similarities ends. Everything else came from me, apart from a little help from the internet, which in this day and age is our friend, it came from me is a strange statement to write, for I know I am not special. I was never a gifted child and did not achieve anything of note before I left school at 16, but since I left school my education started, I have heard the phrase “school days are the best days of your life”, well I am sure whoever said that never went to my school, and it was only after I left school my education started.   

Which brings me onto my book. I have always been an avid book reader, I can remember at work one day during lunchtime thinking of the awful book I had just finished the previous evening, when the thought popped into my head why not write one yourself. This idea I thought stupid, me a common man writing a book, surely authors are people that have been to university and have a degree in literature and understand writing techniques, I am just a normal man. Then a vision popped into my head of an old teacher, I had not thought of for well over forty years, and clearly as the sun was shining I remembered what he told us one day in class, he said “the only thing holding you back from achieving great things is yourself”.  As these words filled my mind all doubt left me and I knew I would try and write a book.

I am so excited about having an extract from your new book on my blog, thank you for sharing it with us.

This is where Grenville Father first meets his future wife, Grenville’s mother realising he had fallen deeply in love,

James turned and stared at both ladies. James bowed deeply and said, “Nice to make your acquaintance.” Both held out their gloved hand to him. James had known Daphnia since childhood, so took her hand and quickly kissed her gloved hand, and said, “Daphnia, a pleasure as always.” James took Sofia’s hand and held it for a few moments before kissing it, all the time staring deeply into the most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen. Sofia stared back into his brown wide eyes, and smiled. James had fallen deeply in love and was lost for words, but managed to mumble out, “The pleasure is all mine, my lady.” Daphnia looked from Sofia to James, and knew a spark had been lit that would be hard to extinguish.  

There was a whirlwind courtship which was a surprise to some – Sofia was always talkative and outgoing, happy and carefree, where James was always quiet and serious, totally un-suited as a couple, as it had been pointed out on more than one occasion. But it was also pointed out that opposites do attract.  The first-time James presented Sofia to his family, even his normally reserved mother the Duchess of Hampshire was impressed, but being a woman knew where Sofia was coming from, and knew as she did that Sofia saw something in her son James that others missed and he was worth investing in, and much to her husband’s surprise took to Sofia and welcomed her into the family. Later the Duke asked his wife what she thought of the match.

“Perfect,” she said.

“Not beneath him, then,” said the smiling Duke.

“Not at all, a nice presentable young lady, I thought,” replied the Duchess.

“Family is new money, not blue,” said the Duke.

“Sometimes, Julian, you can be an awful snob,” said the Duchess, tutting. The Duke tried hard not to laugh at his wife, the most snobbish person he knew.

Thank you so much for joining my blog today. Congratulations on your new book.

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