Welcome. Though I still find the idea less than completely comfortable, this is a site about me, my writing and the life Val and I lead with our dogs Boris and Biggles on our olive farm in the remote hills of Andalucía.
In the world of books it’s a notorious fact that 95% of the publisher’s advertising budget is spent on the 5% of authors who don’t need it, because on the merest whisper of a new William Dalrymple or Paul Theroux the world beats a path to Waterstones’ door like Emerson’s customer in search of the latest mouse-trap. The rest of us have to sell ourselves and the moment when Lucy, my publisher’s designer, rolls down her sleeves and congratulates herself on a job well done is the point at which I need to pick up my trumpet and step out, however reluctantly, into the market place.
A Wigan Childhood (ISBN: 978-1-874181-71-2) has recently been released under their Palatine Books imprint by Carnegie Publishing Ltd. Originally inspired by Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie it has emerged as a very different book whose exploration of the historical and cultural contexts goes well beyond the confines of town, village and period. The extract Gold, Frankincense and th’ Mayor which I’ve included on this site is one of a number of lighter moments. The final text of No Baboons in India has just been submitted to the publisher and will appear on Amazon early in 2013. Baboons has its own page on this website where you can read an extract In the Beginning was the Nerd.
When I started taking my first faltering steps in genealogy the internet was still a fairly new phenomenon, but in the intervening dozen years websites such as Genes Reunited and Ancestry.com together with TV programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? have all inspired a tremendous wave of interest in do-it-yourself genealogy. With this in mind I have included A Wigan Childhood, and on the website, some of the steps by which I unearthed my ancestors and their various cupboarded skeletons.
My patriarchal great grandfather, John Taylor, 1843-1924
I hope you will enjoy browsing this site and I even dare to hope that you may get round to reading A Wigan Childhood and its successor No Baboons in India. Please write to me and let me know what you think.
John Sharrock Taylor
Sunset at Cortijo del Rector