Blood & Grit Twenty-One Years Later
I’ve been time travelling… At least that’s what it felt like. I’ve been re-reading stories that I wrote over twenty years ago. This was before my daughter, Helen, was born – she’s an adult now.
Those stories, which made me feel as if I was eerily gliding back through time, are from Blood and Grit, my first book. Its publisher back in 1990 was Chris Reed, the same brilliant Chris Reed that created my website, which has had the honour of being archived by the British Library.
In my recent mailer I hinted about the re-release of a book that changed my life. And here goes! I can now reveal which one.
Yes, Blood and Grit is back. And it’s bigger and better than before. I’m thrilled to announce that Blood and Grit 21 has been launched. Initially, the book is being released as an eBook. The original first saw the light of day twenty-one years ago as a slim paperback.
Blood and Grit 21 boasts a new introduction from the inspirational Andy Darlington. This is so comprehensive that it reads like a biography. Andy did me proud. I have to admit that it was so moving to read that I had a lump in my throat. Thanks, Andy!
There’s also a new story, ‘21 Skinner Lane’. There are photographs, and there is an article that describes how the original Blood and Grit came to exist in the first place.
We’ve also included my first professional sale, ‘...Beside the Seaside, Beside the Sea…’.
Working on this collection has been an emotional experience. As I mentioned at the beginning of this mailer, I had a sensation of travelling back in time to visit the Simon Clark of two decades past.
If anything, I realized how proud I am of that slender volume that put me on the road to becoming a writer. The stories in Blood and Grit have such a raw power. What they lack in grammatical nicety they make up for with sheer energy. I even wished I could e-mail that younger version of Simon Clark and say ‘Simon, you did alright! By the way, you should see how much those copies of the original book are worth these days. Wow!’
So, recently I read passages like this in ‘Skinner Lane’ from Blood and Grit:
“An ominious rumble of thunder rolled over Thorne Manor. And, as Kenny watched, the last gleam of daylight died. Then something fantastic happened: the clouds and trees merged into a single, enormous, threatening shape.”
And, as I read those words, I found myself smiling with such a heart-warming sense of satisfaction. Because I realized the stories had stood the test of time. Not only that, so many people – you included – have invested time, money and faith in my work. And if we’re still riding the horror trail together after all this time, then we’re doing something right, aren’t we?
Blood and Grit 21 is available for download now on the iBookstore and Amazon – go to www.bloodandgrit.com for more details.