There was a massive wave of interest in the ‘Twilight’ books and movies. Then an old journalist colleague of mine wrote a very thoughtful analysis of this sweeping phenomenon. As he was from Northern Ireland, it made an ideal feature for ‘Verbal’ magazine – and became a cover story.
Rock journalist Steve Turner had been commissioned to write a book about the dance band on the ‘Titanic’. I read the book and interviewed Steve. It was a fascinating story about the different characters involved. And – lo and behold – my article became the cover story for ‘Verbal’ magazine. There was even a big display for that edition in Derry!
A new book about Van Morrison was sent to me for review. But I saw a whole feature in it – on the subject of Van’s ‘Irishness’. So I sold the idea to my editor, Catherine McGrotty, and she ran the story in ‘Verbal’ magazine. At the time, this literary arts supplement was reaching 100,000 homes across Northern Ireland.
Plugger and publisher Bob Grace worked with some of the top names in the music biz. He helped promote classic albums like The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ and The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’. In 2011, Bob wrote his life story and asked me to edit his work and offer creative direction. So I made the text look like a 70s rock paper!
Graham Kendrick was a regular face on the folk club and coffee bar scene in the 70s. I loved his early work. It carried echoes of Ralph McTell and Paul Simon. Years later, Graham became one of the most successful contemporary hymnwriters in the world. And in 2001, he asked me to help write a book about his songs.
It was a BBC ‘Everyman’ programme about street children in Latin America. And it changed Duncan Dyason’s life forever. Hodder & Stoughton approached me to help Duncan tell his story of helping such kids. The book came out, and one reviewer liked it but added, ‘It won’t win any awards’. Then it won an award.