Saturday, 18 November 2006

IMPERIAL ...The airline not the mints

For over six years now I have been working on my mega work that has a working title of "Imperial Airways and the Birth of British Airlines". The whole thing has really been a labour of love. Much of the time has been spent researching any and every conceivable book about the early aviation pioneers and the airlines they flew with. This is followed by a brief period of hyper activity at the computer knocking each section into shape. At times it has been laborious, mostly however I have enjoyed the experience. 'Why am I doing it' many friends have asked? Well, first and foremost I enjoy writing and I also love the whole airline industry.I find it fascinating how an obscure man can sometimes realise his dream by starting an enterprise that transports people to the most distant corners of the earth in machines that now cost vast amounts of money. The entire Imperial story I find intriguing because it took place between the two World Wars at a time when equipment was incredibly basic and often downright unsafe. As I become deeper involved, there are times when I have tended to feel personally connected to some of the colourful characters that were involved with the company and I can feel their pains when they fail and suffer their excitement when things go to plan.

Certainly I am not writing the book to become rich; far from it. Most writers become engrossed in their projects because they want to see them reach fruition; a bit like watching your young child grow. Firstly the project has to be completed and then you hope and pray that a decent publisher will become as enthused about the subject to want to publish it.

At the moment the book is about two thirds finished and the manuscript is with a specialist publisher in the north of England who has initially expressed an interest. I am terribly fussy about my expectations and I want the book to be exceptionally well produced with an inspired layout and plenty of illustrations; the type of book Dorling Kindersley are famous for. I have approached DK, twice in fact, about my project but they have not been gracious enough to bother me with a reply. Sad really, but then this is often indicative of the publishing industry.

As the manuscript grows in length I shall, from time-to-time, report on the progress but, for the moment at any rate, I've not written a word for several weeks. This is because this Blog and other writing projects that actually pay me money have taken precedence.

1 comment:

Hermione Ireland said...

On behalf of DK I would like to apologise that you did not hear from us in response to your letters. As you can probably imagine, we are sent large numbers of unsolicited manuscript and book ideas, and while we try to respond to all of them I'm afraid sometimes we don't manage to. If you have ever read the very funny Robin Cooper's The Timewaster's Letters, you will see that DK can spend some time communicating with unknown submitters. Good luck with your new book.