Behind every success, there is often a tale of an inspirational teacher and Mike Ward is no exception to this rule, as he explains.
'I have Alan Hodgkinson to thank for developing my interest in English at the College and, by the time I left university, I knew I wanted to be a journalist.
My first reporting job was at The Weekly News Group on Merseyside, working with fellow OLs Hems De Winter and Dave Beevers. Next stop was the BBC where I spent 10 happy years before moving into journalism education, ending my career as Head of the Journalism School at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
But they say that lurking inside every hack is a novel waiting to escape, and so it proved. After several years researching and writing, last year I completed my first venture into fiction.
‘Rags of Time’ is a murder mystery set in 1639, with England on the brink of Civil War. I chose historical fiction because I love reading it. It does involve a lot of research but I enjoy discovering fragments of fact and stories, sometimes buried for centuries, that I can weave into a new fictional tale.
It’s extremely difficult for debut authors to get a book deal these days, so when I finished ‘Rags’ I decided to self publish. I employed an editor to review and improve the text. He then proof read and formatted the content for both paperback and ebook. Finally, with his guidance, I employed a ‘print on demand’ company who printed the book to a really high quality.
My advice for any aspiring writer is be prepared to commit a lot of time and some money. It may be ‘self’ publishing, but you can’t do everything yourself and if you just try to wing it you can easily come a cropper. You need professional help with editing, production and cover design. Finding a group of fellow writers to bounce ideas off and share sample chapters is also invaluable.
Initial Amazon reviews for ‘Rags’ have been encouraging, so I’m currently working on the sequel. It won’t make my fortune but it has been enormously satisfying…and good fun!'
Having written one of those reviews, I can safely say that the book absolutely lives up to its billing as 'a thrilling murder mystery'. If you are a fan of the genre, you will not be disappointed.Mike Askham
Read more about the book at Amazon,
or contact the author,