BY PHIL TAYLOR
Name, age and area where you live in the UK
My Name is Phil Taylor and I live in Croydon, London.
Book name, publication date, who book is published by.
Book name is, ‘Brian, His Granddad & the Cup of Ages’. It was published on 31st August 2012 by Penpress and is aimed at children/young adults from about 9 years and up.
Is this your first book?
This is the first book that I have written and is approximately 95,000 words long.
What is the book about?
It’s about a boy called Brian who believes that his parents have split up and whilst his mother is searching for a new job and a new home he has to live, allbeit temporarily, with his Grandparents. But then, one night, his Grandparents disappear, their house is attacked and set on fire and Brian is rescued just in the nick of time by two bickering monsters called Sam and Hadley who inform him that his father was, in fact, kidnapped. What follows is an rip-roaring adventure through secret passages, battles with monsters, visits with ghosts until Brian finally learns the truth about his mother, his father and his Grandparents too!
I began writing the book about ten years ago whilst I was receiving treatment for an illness called ‘Wegners Granulomatosis’ . This is a disorder in which the walls of blood vessels become inflamed (swollen) and leaky, leading to poor blood flow to tissues throughout the body. It is a serious condition that is presently incurable and can be fatal if left untreated.
When I was at school I could never find any books that I really enjoyed and I vowed one day that I would eventually write the book that I always wanted to read when I was 11 years old.
When did you start writing/what gave you the idea to write a book?
How long did it take to write?
I work for a bank in London and trying to fit writing a book in and around work and my illness proved very difficult indeed and that’s why it took roughly ten years to complete.
Trying to get published in the traditional way is almost impossible these days. I approached a number of ‘agents’ and ‘publishers’ over 12 months to no avail. Most of them didn’t even look at the manuscript. Some didn’t even have the courtesy to return the manuscript even when I enclosed a stamped addressed envelope. In the end I decided to self-publish and, after a bit of research, went through a company called Penpress who were extremely helpful.
Where your book is on sale?
Any advice for other book writers?
Firstly, don’t ever give up! Keep writing no matter what and no matter what anybody says! And, secondly, you must get your manuscript edited professionally. Because no matter how good you think your manuscript is or how how good a proof-reader you think you are a professional edit will improve your book tenfold!
I’ve suffered with ‘Wegners Disease’ since I got diagnosed with it when I was 22. It was just a few months after I had got married. The disease affected my kidneys and was so bad that I couldn’t climb the stairs in my house and my wife would have to dress/undress me each day. The diseased causes immense pain in the joints of your arms and legs. It feels like somebody is pushing a needle in to them. The pain is indescribable. After five years of various drugs including chemotherapy the disease was finally put into remission. Then, ten years ago, as I began work on ‘Brian, His Granddad & the Cup of Ages’ I began to get dreadful headaches and my left eye would swell up and become bloodshot as if I’d been punched in the face. I had a number of scans and I was eventually told that I probably had a cancerous tumour behind my left eye. However, after a biopsy it was confirmed that I had, in fact, Obrital Wegners. The disease that I had suffered when I was 22 had returned and, this time, spread to my head. The tumour was inoperable but could be controlled with various treatments including chemotherapy. Although caught fairly early the disease had already eaten away some of the bone within my nose and given permanent double vision which made completing my first novel that much harder.
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