Interview with Terence Jenkins, Author of Further Afield

Terence Jenkins, the author of the fascinating book, Further Afield, kindly agreed to do this interview recently.  It was wonderful to learn more about his book, and I also asked him his advice for writers.

1) I noticed that your other books are about London.  Why did you 
decide to go 'Further Afield'? 

1 I called my latest book ‘Further Afield’ because the previous three had been ‘Another Man’s London’, ‘London Lives’, and ‘London Tales’ so I thought it would make a change to widen my circle (even though there were two or three chapters about the Capital in it).

2) How did you choose your subjects? 

 Sometimes, the subjects chose me because I happened upon them when I was wandering about London. The French have a word for people like me, ’flaneur’,it means someone ‘who is a stroller, who ambles through cities without apparent purpose in covert search of adventure’. I usually strike lucky and meet someone who wants to chat or tell me their story, show me some place or something. I love just drifting around London and coming home with something I’d not known before.

3) Some of your subjects are extremely unusual, for example, the 
graveyard that has many musicians.  How did you come across them? 

The graveyard with all the musicians in, I came across on a country walk in Surrey, not far from where I live, about 40 minutes away. England (and Wales, where I’m from) is full of interesting corners so always something crops up which I can use.

4) How did you do your research? 
4 Research: libraries, visits, interviews and serendipity.

5) Could you tell us more about your self-publishing journey? 

I used to teach English Literature and Language in a boys’ grammar school but had a stroke and had to retire early (54).I thought, ‘What can I do with my life now?’I decided that when I was well enough I would take the City of London  Blue Badge Course. I did. Then I took friends and colleagues on walks. I also tried journalism which turned out to be interesting  and rewarding. From there I progressed to a book of short stories, ‘Return’, and decided that journalism wasn’t enough, I wanted something more involving and moved onto books which combined my main interests,Literature,History and Geography (an ideal combination).Since when, I’ve published five books in total and there is another (back to London theme) in the pipeline. Some of them have been quite successful, especially the eBooks. The main thing is that all this keeps my mind ‘going’. At 72 there’s a danger of just stultifying so I belong to walking groups and write.

6) Why did you choose Troubador Publishing? 

I saw Troubador recommended in ‘The Writers and Artists Year Book’ and heard good of them from others.

7) Would you like to write more books? 

Yes, I would like to write more books. In fact, apart from the one that is being proofread at the moment, I’ve started on another but I must try to get back to short stories which I like writing.

8) What is your advice for writers? 

JUST DO IT! Make time each day and get down to the task. You’ll regret not trying.



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