I’m a writer. I’ve always known that. When I was 10, I stood on the stage at Benton Park primary school in Newcastle upon Tyne, where I grew up, and read the assembled parents and children a story I’d written. It was called The Garden and it was set in Shropshire, which I find interesting because I now live in Shropshire (having previously lived in Africa and North America) but back then I didn’t know where Shropshire was. I set the story there because I thought it sounded like a nice place to be (which I now know it is). But it all started long before that.
When I was four years old, I sat on an outside lavatory with the door open and my pants around my ankles. I don’t doubt that anyone passing by in the yard thought, “Look at that disgusting little boy,” but inside my head I wonder disgusting little boy – I was driving a horse-drawn gypsy caravan down a dusty road towards some place I’d never been (which is why the door was open – I needed to see where I was going) and telling myself stories about what I saw as I went along.
What makes a writer? I have no idea. Would I rather have been something else? Probably. But the act of creation – conceiving ideas and turning them into a form other people can see and understand – gives me more happiness than anything else I know.
My breakthrough year came in 1989 when I sold my first book to a publisher, my first article to a magazine, and my first short story to BBC Radio 4 for what in those days was Morning Story.
I write contemporary fiction under my own name, historical fiction as RJ Lynch, and police procedurals as JJ Sullivan As well as that I have ghost written more than sixty books that have been published with other people’s names on them and I also work for two publishers as an editor and book doctor.
John- I have just finished reading The International Sales Handbook. I like that you get right to the point. I would like to recommend it to the marketing manager who read my book- Trade Shows from One Country to the Next.
Covers 45 countries about differences when planning a trade show abroad. Cultural differences play the strongest role to achieve success selling overseas.
The theme- There is no right way, there is no wrong way, there is only a different way. Understand and respect what is different and you are on your way to success with international sales. The majority of int’l selling tips are more what not to do vs what to do. I feel that American companies need this info more than any other country. Unfortunately, they tend to feel they know it all after doing one trade show overseas.
Have a look at my book on Amazon.
I will, thank you. For me, the decline in American companies is depressing, because they taught me the essentials in the first place – when I was making my first trips way back in the ’60s, they were always already there, and always ready to learn and adapt. Those days must come again. I grew tired of the managers of US factories saying, “But that’s what we do when we ship to Oklahoma. If it works for them, why won’t it work in Iraq?”