21 June 2022
It’s the longest day of the year, a very special day, but this year even more so because it’s my last day with our dog Harry who has been with me for five years. Tomorrow, my brother Arnold takes him back to the Netherlands, so today, I decided to spend the whole day with him, my brother Arnold and our friend Robert who took us out for a lovely breakfast, lunch a dinner today.
After leaving The George with Harry’s health certificate.
We also managed to retrieve the last of my summer clothes from storage, and our books in Dutch which Arnold is going to sell on 25 June @NLVeteranendag in the Netherlands.
Of course we also took Harry along.
But will we be reunited with our furniture one day? Only time will tell, but from tomorrow, I will be hard at work again selling our books to secure our future. You can help enormously by buying one of our books and support #SavedByOneBook.
20 June 2022
Today, we nailed the very last points of the film/TV option contract. Hopefully we can sign it this week and I can reveal all.
On another front, I’m trying to drum up support for our new titles. We need money to be able to publish these titles, so I hope you can help to #MakeTheseBooksHappen.
But most importantly, today, I saw my brother again. That’s the very good thing, the bad thing is that he’s going to take my dog Harry away. It’s very necessary because I can’t hold Harry on the lead and he can, Harry has to go with him, but we had to get his health certificate sorted. Hopefully this is going to happen tomorrrow at our local animal hospital.
It’s so lovely to see my brother again, who runs the company with me, and also to meet Robert for the first time, who was one of our key suppporters through our recent difficult times.
Here are the two of them on the ferry towards England and a picture of the White Cliffs of Dover. It’s a while since I’ve seen them but they take your breath away every time.
19 June 2022
Time is a very strange concept. When you wait for something trivial: a train or bus to arrive, going in to the dentist, etc., minutes drag on for ages, yet days, months, even years seem to fly by in a second.
I often feel I want to stop time, yet we’re all seem to be programmed to look out for the next best thing to be happening.
So, right now, I look forward to seeing my brother tomorrow, but not to wednesday, when he is taking my beloved dog Harry to the Netherlands. I can’t hold him on the lead, so he really has to go, but even so.
Even worse, time also seems to speed up when you get older. An old boss of mine had an interesting theory about this: when you are young you have plenty of time left, a day represents only a small percentage of what’s left, so time moves relatively slowly, when you are older you’ve almost run out, a day may well be your last, so passes in no time.
This, at a time of the year when I want time to stop: after the 21st it’s downhill to Christmas because days are shortening again.
Well, dogs don’t have this problem, they just give you unconditional love. Tomorrow, new publishing challengings await me, but this eveing I leave you with two more images of Harry.
18 June 2022
They did buy today and it made my day! I mainly sold short stries and poetry. I think, on the whole, readers of poetry and short stories are slightly more adventerous than readers who prefer novels.
Why? Because they are often looking for a new voice, something different from what they have read before. Novel readers tend to be a bit biased to reading more of the same.
Anyway, it was a lovely day at Shambles market, well organised by Ron in his inimitable laid-back way. Besides, his coice of music is fantastics. I love these old pop songs.
When I came home, I got losts of kuddles and kisses from Harry. Oh, how will I miss this when he is gone!
17 June 2022
It’s Friday, so to get to Stroud it’s two busses day: Malmesbury to Cirencester, followed by Cirencester to Stroud. Both these busses are not busy and I begin to recognise the regulars.
In Stroud, a few stops before the end, a typical Stroud lady boarded the buss. Stroud ladies, and actually the same can be said about man, are eccentrics in nicest possible way. An unique sense of dress, outlook on life, and often strongly held opinions, though they are always looking for a friendly discussion. I love them, especially when they buy books.
But they didn’t today! How am I supposed to eat if people don’t buy books? I know these are uncertain and challenging times, but that’s when you need a good book more than ever.
Please come out and make my day tomorrow and buy books. If you can’t make it, send your friends. Especially as, during the last few days he is still with me, I have to leave my dog Harry home alone again tomorrow. So, I leave you with a picture of hunting Harry, even though his prey is just a plastic plant pot.
16 June 2022
No, the grant application wasn’t successful. At least they were quick in telling me. But we persevere and I put two other bids out today.
It sometimes seems that everyone tries to push me into claiming benefits, I just want to sell enough books to earn a living. I think this is a much better aproach. So you can help me and make it possible to publish more exciting new books.
Great Father’s Day presents are available from our website and our bookstall on the Shambles Market tomorrow and on Saturday.
For now Harry keeps me company and cheers me up, even though, as always, he is taking life very seriously indeed.
15 June 2022
I’ve been very busy with filling out another detailed grant application form. So far, I’ve not been very lucky when applying for a grant but it’s not for lack of trying. Hopefully this one will have a happier outcome.
A lovely surprise today were the two photos I received from a Dutchman who visited my bookstall a couple of weeks ago on the Shambles market in Stroud. Having been a publisher himself, he was very taken with finding a bookstall run by a Dutch person. He’s obviously also a good photographer. Thank you Robert Wielinga.
14 June 2022
So Malmesbury is getting an artisan icecream shop soon. Does it mean the market town is going up or down in the world?
I’m sure many people welcome an icecream shop, artisan or not, but it used to be a bookshop. Well, don’t get too excited it was a Christian second hand bookshop and I’ve never seen anyone in there. Not a great loss, especially not as there are quite a few charity shops selling second hand books.
But, I wish the announcement in the shop window had been for a proper bookshop. The only new books you can purchase in Malmesbury are those from WH Smith and they only stock the bestsellers.
We need bookshops to make people aware of the many great reads out there that haven’t yet been discovered by the public at large. Well, we can live in hope, and I personally try to fill this gap in the market by running our bookstall.
If you look very closely, you can spot the publisher taking this picture reflected in the shop window.
13 June 2022
Yesterday, my brother confimed his travel plans. He will come to Malmesbury with his friend Robert from 20 to 22 June to pick up our stock of Dutch books from storage but, more importantly, to take my beloved much longed for first dog Harry to the Netherlands.
I can’t hold him on the lead so it’s not fair to keep him here. However, taking a dog abroad has become so much more complicated. This morning I phoned our lovely animal hospital The George to tell them I needed to book Harry in for a health certificate because he was travelling on the 22nd. In that case, you need an appointment today they said.
I booked an appointment for this afternoon, thinking one of our regular dog walker friends could help me take him there. None could make it, disaster! However, the ever helpful Andy, mobilised a great young lad called Ben to help me out and a health certificate will duly be issued.
Well that’s after my brother comes to do and sign the paperwork next week. I couldn’t do it because I’m not taking Harry back.
What a palaver. I’m so glad go back to dealing with publishing issues and hopefully I sorted one by emailing my findings about the film/TV contract today.
12 June 2022
I expected a rather quiet Sunday but I decided to give the contract regarding the film and TV rights for one of our novels another final read through. I really got to grips with the last few details and the day was gone before I knew it.
It’s so great to be able to promote our existing books, look for new opportunities and be able to publish exciting new books. But I need your help. Support our #MakeTheseBooksHappen crowdfunding campaign and tell all your friends. Any donation to this campaign is very much appreciated! Thank you!
11 June 2022
It was a good day at Shambles Market in Stroud. Quite a few books sold, good contacts made and lovely chats with customers.
My brother Arnold is missing all of us now he is back in the Nethetlands, but at least he is catching up with good and supportive friends, for example, today he want to an exhibition of works by his friend, painter and sculpter, Peter.
Today I travelled by bus and train to the market. I put in all this effort, connections leave much to be desired, but I can enjoy a heritage station such as this one in Stroud. So, I hope you, too, can recognise good books that deserve to be published and support our #MakeTheseBooksHappen crowdfunding campaign.
10 June 2022
With the help of the bus services in two counties Wiltshire and Gloucestershire I made it safely back and forth from Malmesbury to the Shambles Market in Stroud to do one of the things I love best: handselling our lovely novels, shortstories and poetry.
And all of our books can be sold this way, proving my point that I’m right not to distinguish between a front and backlist.
The journey to Stroud is a very enjoyable one, especially now the fields are full of buttercups and poppies. All this loveliness also also inspires me to find new ways to promote our #MakeTheseBooksHappen campaign that will enable us to publish another set of wonderful books to add to our market stall.
It also helps that while waiting for the bus on Cross Hayes square in Malmesbury you do so with the view of the lovely Town Hall and local museum. I have my eyes on a literary event in this building and all of you who have, are, and will be supporting us by making donations are hereby invited.
9 June 2022
A very busy day emailing loads of people about our new crowdfunding campaign #MakeTheseBooksHappen. Hopefully we get some support soon, because I’m very keen to commission wonderful covers for our new books as soon as possible, so that we can start preselling them in earnest.
Of course, our covers are on display at the Shambles Market in Stroud on Fridays and Saturdays.
I also had to dash off to our reliable post office with its expert staff lead by Pamela to post out more books. It’s conveniently locate in the Co-op on the High Street, and I love going there because the more books I have to send out, the better.
8 June 2022
Today, orders came in through our UK and Dutch distributors as well as on our website. That’s what I like to see, please tell all your friends to buy our books, I can guarantee you they are a very good read.
Today, we also launched our new crowdfunding campaign to enable us to publish the wonderful books we have signed up. The amounts we need are bitesize and our authors’ remakable books very much deserve to be published.
You can read about it in this article and I leave you with a few pictures of our authors. Thank you very much for supporting #MakeTheseBooksHappen.
7 June 2022
Things are progressing regarding the contracts. One is about signing up an exciting new novel, the other is about moving closer to adapting Hold Still for film or TV. Well deserved because it’s an exciting novel about Joanna Hiffernan, the muse and mistress of James Whistler and Gustave Courbet.
This is what The Guardian had to say about Joanna Hiffernan subject of the Royal Academy’s exhibition Whistler’s Woman in White during the first half of 2022.
To keep all these wonderful opportunities on the road we need your essential help to crowdfund them, see the diary entry below. Thank you for supporting us!
It’s been a tough time but unexpected things can cheer you up. I think I spotted what my grandmother called ‘slaapmutsjes’ or ‘nightcaps’, because they close at night, she had them in her garden. It fascinated me as a child, and it cheered me up today.
6 June 2022
It was a busy day catching up with things I couldn’t progress during the jubilee bank holidays. Tomorrow, it will be contract day: film rights and a new author’s contract.
I will also be starting off another round of crowdfunding. We need sponsering for cover design, editing and layout for the new books. So far, we have or are about to sign up four new books: two novels and two poetry collections one of which is a translation. We’re very excited about publishing these books. Check them out in our bookshop.
For each individual item, the support we need amounts to between 500 to 900 pounds. All donations are very welcome. Everyone who donates £50+ will get a copy of the book that’s being sponsered and will be mentioned on our website. Those very generous individuals who contribute half or more for one particular item will be acknowledged in the book, on the website, receive two free copies and be guest of honour at the launch.
This is our PayPal donations page:
or, if you prefer, you can pay directly into our bank account, our bank details are:
account no: 60081694 sort code: 600208 iban: GB98NWBK60020860081694
Thank you very much for supporting #SaveByOneBook!
5 June 2022
And this is how they looked on the picnic table at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the cloisters garden next to the abbey in Malmesbury. Not bad for a first attempt.
And it was an alcoholic lunch as well.
With a fancy dress competition for children
bouncy castle and, of course, Morris dancing.
I’m still recovering from this picnic and I’m looking forward to a very busy week ahead, hopefully ful of progress. I’ll keep you posted. For now, you can really help us by buying one of our books to make us #SavedByOnBook.
4 June 2022
I enjoyed another day at Shambles Market in Stroud. It’s always so good to sucessfully hand sell our lovely titles. Today, someone came to tell me how much his mother had loved reading True Freedom which he had bought for her from our stall a couple of months ago. A lovely experience.
Tomorrow I’m going to bake apple turnovers to take to a Jubilee picnic. I’ve never made them before, when he was still in this country, my brother did the cooking and his apple turnovers were always delicious. So wish me luck, I will report back tomorrow with a picture of the result. This is how they are supposed to look.
3 June 2022
I’m proud that we have acquired the rights to publish the English translation of the best collection of one of the foremost poets in the Netherlands.
Totally White Room, Gerrit Kouwenaar’s lament about the death of his wife, is a most wonderful collection of poems.
Poet, I’m here again for a moment, jolted
awake in you, I’m walking with you
through the stilled future of our past
The jubilee celebrations of a remarkable queen continue, and this evening I smartened up to attend a get together in our street.
The young families all had ties with Malnesbury and either stayed or had returned to Malmesbury to raise their family. The older ones were all warden & freemen. A very Malmesbury organisation and one man joined us wearing a top hat, thank got for eccentrics.
2 June 2022
I’ve been extremely busy fighting for our books, authors and wellbeing of the press. However today, I couldn’t ignore the most remarkable diamond jubilee of a wonderful queen who reminds me very much of my own mother.
Tonight the beacons have been lit. Malmesbury, 5000 inhabitants, never had a beacon, but has acquired one now, and here is the proof.
The abbey (St Aldhelm was one of its abbots) has lovely flower tributes to the several highlights of the queen’s reign. I was especially taken by the one celebrating the Commonwealth with St Althestan’s, English first king, tomb in the background.
Now back to work. More details about a new poetry collection will be revealed on this website tomorrow. In the meantime buy one of our books so that we are #SavedByOneBook.
1 June 2022
Today I had a very productive working lunch with new author Jeremy Worman an his friend and agent Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson. We’re going to publish another great new novel memoir and there is a chance we can also add a wonderful short story anthology.
The food in the Polish restaurant was lovely, the company even better, and I managed to miss my train. Luckily I was able to catch another one which only left twenty minutes later, so I was still (just) in time for the pastoral council meetimg in the evening.
A very long day but also a very promising one.
31 May 2022
I managed to make the deadline for the PEN translation award. I doubt we will be successful because we always seem to be on the wrong side of the institutionalised literati. Maybe because we are literary and commercial. If so, I take it in my stride.
Tomorrow, I’m off to London to meet another prospective author for lunch. I’m looking forward to it, but it will be another long day, with a pastoral council meeting in the evening.
This on the eve of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Bunting is advancing rapidly here in Malmesbury. This I spotted today when passing the garage in the High Street. That’s where we bought out twenty-year-old ford fiesta and they looked after it ever so well. Very sadly it has gone to the Netherlands with my brother.
30 May 2022
A belated entry for this day. I was so busy trying to make the deadline to put in an application for a PEN translation award to increase the chances to publish the English version of Schurft. We have a lovely transator, Susan Ridder, who has produced and excellent translation of a short excerpt and suggested a perfect English title for Schurft: The Itch.
29 May 2022
It’s exactly 5 years ago today that I held our dog Harry in my arms for the first time. Harry was then a 4 weeks’ old pub. He is still with me today but most likely will have to leave in a couple of weeks because I cannot hold him on the lead now my brother has gone back to the Netherlands to give Holland Park Press chance to survive.
We probably should have trained Harry not to pull but it was my fist dog, fifty years after first asking for one, and I didn’t have clue how to train one. Now my brother Arnold is his sparring partner, both are extremely strong, I’m not so I have to let Harry go, it’s not fair to just let him out in a small garden.
It will break my heart, that and no longer having a place of my own, however kind people have been and are. But at least I can continue running the company, I very much owe it to my wonderful authors to continue champion their books and make them sell. Besides there are so many new oppertunities on the horizon.
Those developments will be featured in future posts but for now I will leave you with some pictures of Harry, as a 4 weeks old pub and today playing in the garden.
28 May 2022
Today was another day at the lovely Shambles market. I’m there each Friday and Saturday, although next week because Diamond Jubilee, the market will only be open on Saturday 4 June.
I do so love hand-selling our books, and I can sell any of our books, even the ones that hardly sell through bookshops or on our website. They, too, very much deserve to be sold and be read by descerning readers. I lovingly call them my Cinderella titles, but make no mistake, none of our books are relegated to the backlist. We have none such thing.
For some reason we attract more mature authors. Not by design, that’s just how it worked out. I don’t think publishing should be done by fulfillinng quotas. Submitted manuscripts are either good or they are not, whether the author is green has two heads or one and a half legs is completely immaterial.
However, it so happens that I have signed up marvellous books by three male authors with rather characteristic faces: Michael Dean (The White Crucifixion, True Freedom & A Diamond in the Dust (new), novels), Neal Mason (The Past is a Dangerous Driver, poetry) and Gerrit Kouwenaar (Totally White Room, poetry). So I leave you with the pictures of these three authors with a fourth of the same ilk to follow soon.
27 May 2022
I’m quite shattered after having to run our stall at Shambles Market first followed by attending a party to celebrate my good friend Catherine’s bishop’s award. It’s she who’s putting me up in her spare room, so I’m glad to help out and contribute to the celebrations. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Today, I received the contract for the rights of film and or TV options for our novels. I need a bit of time to digest it, but when it is signed I give you all the details.
Another good order came in on our website, which is excellent. Tell all your friends to order books from our website, this really makes a difference.
Tomorrow this stall needs my attention. I will be there at Shambles Market from 9 until 3, and I’m looking foward to meeting more readers and making other new contacts.
26 May 2022
The contract for publishing the translation of Totaal witte kamer, Totally White Room, was signed today, a couple of years after we worked with Lloyd Haft on a marvellous translation. It’s so great to see all this efffort not gone to waste and I’m looking forward to making this publication a success. Now I need to get crowdfunding and/or sponsering in place to pay for the translation rights and production.
I’ve also arranged a meeting with the author of a marvelous memoir we have decided to publish. I’m going to travel to London on Wednesday to meet him. He has arranged lunch in a Polish restaurant, much to my delight, because this cuisine is strong on herring, though he couldn’t have known that this is one of my favourites foods.
In and among all these very important issues, I also managed to fit in a hair cut, much needed as my last one was six months ago due to lack of money. Not that it makes me looking any younger but it makes me feel better even so.
Good literature deserves to be published. I owe to the authors who have put in the hard work. I’m working around the clock on getting grants and other fundraising activities. In the meantime you can make a donation to help us bringing wonderful books to readers across the globe. Thank you for supporting #SavedByOneBook. Click here to donate.
25 May 2022
Today, another good order came in on the back of our vey enjoyable Neerlandia zoom meeting. It’s what we like to see, and besides I now have to make another visit to our wonderful Mamesbury post office, staffed by very knowledgeable people under the excellent supervision of the Labrador loving Pamela.
Two people requested a pre-publication copy of A Diamond in the Dust, a new novel by Michael Dean, and the first book in a trilogy about The Stuarts: Love, Art, War. We aim to use their quotes on the back cover. Now we need to generate funds to produce a cover, edit and lay out the book. Look out for our new fund raising campaign.
An exiting new title (no proper cover yet, we need your help) and a ordinary bus fulfilling a special task by transporting me to the Shambles market.
24 May 2022
Today was the feast day of St Aldhelm, abbot of Malmesbury abbey in the 7th century, writer and scholar of poetry and, in my opinion, though his famous riddles, inventor of the metaphor.
So, it was only appropriate that today we had lovely reviews for two of our books, one was for Schurft a novel by my brother Arnold, just over a year after I sent the reviewer a copy of the book. The other was for a book we haven’t even published yet but it’s scheduled for this autumn, The Past Is a Dangerous Driver, a poetry collection by Neal Mason. In this case just days after I sent the reviewer a prepublication PDF of the book.
We successfully published Schurft through crowd funding, now we have to cobble together funds to pay for the cover and layout of The Past Is a Dangerous Driver. That’s how you can help us: donate or pre-order copies. Thank you for supporting #SavedByOneBook.
23 May 2022
We’re planning to celebrate the live of the late Laura Del-Rivo by a special screening of West II, a film based on her debut novel The Unfurnished Room, released in 1963 and directed by Michael Winner starring Alfred Lynch, Eric Portman, Kathleen Breck and Diana Dors.
I’m delighted to have published Laura’s quite astonishing short story collection Where Is My Mask of an Honest Man?
You can also read her swansong story Birds and Words.
I’m dedicated to publish more remarkable books, two are already lined up, and two more are about to be signed up. It’s going to be a special year but we need your help to make it happen. We require crowdfunding to pay for the cover design (I get many compliment about our beautiful covers), editing and layout of these four new books. So look out and support our new campaigns to secure funds.
In the meantime tell all your friends to support us by buying a book from our website. This really makes a difference. We call it #SavedByOneBook.
My brother Arnold and Laura in Kew Gardens (Laura loved nature and was a member of Kew Gardens)
22 May 2022
I’m living out of bags but that’s fine so long as it helps keeping the press going and being able to continue to promote and sell the books of our wonderful authors.
Publishing literature is not a job but a vocation and very rewarding. It’s probably not going to make me rich, but so many good things are on the horizon, and I hope you can tell all your friends to buy one of our books, so that I can continue more wonderful new authors and books.
As a young girl, I read all the books, including those for boys, I adored Biggles, from our local church library, sadly this one, as many others, no longer exists.
However, the 5000 odd inhabitants of Malmesbury still have a library and when we recently were in between homes, it was a godsend, a place to work and recharge phone and laptop. Long live libraries, here is a picture of my local.
21 May 2022
Not only one but potentially two more new titles are on the horizon. We will have to crowdfund them, so we’ll need your help.
But 2022 is definitely looking more hopeful, and I’m giving it all I have. It’s very much back to basics to give great literature and wonderful authors a chance to get published.
It’s somehow makes me feel young again travelling on public transport. This is where I catch the bus to Swindon:
And this is the starting point for travelling to Cirencester with the Malmesbury Town Hall in the background:
I’m working very hard on giving Holland Park Press a future, I still have dog Harry with until he gets his health certificate, and I’m missing my brother Arnold, but we have so many good things on the go.
Thank you very much to allow us to be #SavedByOneBook.
20 May 2022
It was great to be running the bookstall again at Shambles Market Stroud. You always meet interesting people and have great chats. Physically selling books always lifts the spirits.
Travelling by public transport significantly adds to the length of the day but also gives me chance to enjoy the wonderful Wiltshire and Gloucestershire countryside now the aging ford is no longer there to take dog Harry away for walks in lovely surroundings.
We dealt with several outstanding publishing issues today and I hope to report on new plans and promotional activities soon.
Tell all your friends to buy one of our books, so that we can be #SavedByOneBook.
19 May 2022
Today, we moved closer to securing a third new title, it looks as if we can acquire the translation rights for a key poetry collection by one of the most renowned Dutch poets. A couple of years ago, we worked with Lloyd Haft on an excellent translation which we can now hopefully finally publish.
However, we will need your help to get these publications out, so expect more crowdfunding coming your way. The amounts required are quite modest, so I hope you can help us to make more important literature available to the general public.
Tomorrow and on Saturday, I will be selling our books on Shambles Market. Again, I will be travelling by public transport, a combination of busses in two different counties, Wilshire & Gloucestershire, and the train, so wish me luck.
I will report on my adventures tomorrow but, for comfort, I will travel with one of my trusted bags.
18 May 2022
This morning, I was very busy with processing our orders from our Neerlandia meeting, and that’s very good.
I’ve also been drumming up more support for our new titles, and there have been some interesting developments.
Arnold has been meeting several old friends in the Netherlands and has received some unexpected support, which is very welcome and timely.
We’re hoping to announce more new initiatives soon.
In the meantime, tell all of your friends to buy one of or books, so that we are #SavedByOneBook.
17 May 2022
Arnold and I had a very good zoom event for Neerlandia and several orders have already come in on our website. Thank you very much Marianne for giving us the opportunity of promoting our quest for publishing and selling excellent literature.
The wonderful Andy and his two younger children took our black lab Harry out for a walk today. Harry’s first in more than a week. It made us all very happy and Harry has been snoozing ever since.
However, I’m getting worried about Arnold’s foot. He fell rearranging our stuff in storage, his foot was bad, recovered, but now has gone from bad to worse. Luckily, for an author, most don’t write with their feet, but he should get it seen to, even so.
To relieve pressure, it would be great if you could buy a book from our website and make us #SavedByOneBook.
16 May 2022
Today, I worked on a application of getting a grant to translate Schurft.
I’m also working on promoting of the two new books we’ve already signed up: A Diamond in the Dust, the first novel in a trilogy about The Stuarts by Michael Dean and The Past is a Dangerous Driver by Neal Mason.
Today, Arnold and I also prepared our talk for Neerlandia tomorrow. We’re looking forward to it. Another encouraging development is that we’re reading a new good manuscript.
You can really help us by buying a book from our website, so that we’re #SavedByOneBook
So things are moving on all fronts and our black lab Harry is still with me, just now, he thinks I’m his girlfriend.
Dog on screen, dog alive, dog inspecting laptop, long may it continue.
15 May 202
Today a very special man was made a saint by Pope Francis. Titus Bransma, Carmelite, Philosopher, Educator, Journalist & Martyr, was also a great friend of my paternal grandfather.
My father met him as a boy, and his fight against Nazi ideology inspired my father’s elder brother to establish the first resistance group in Nijmegen during WWII. Their aim was to save as many Jews from the Nazis as possible.
So, it was a very special day which puts our own problems into perspective. Titus also was a journalist and hence their patron saint, which in these times is also very special.
During his time with the UN in Bosnia, my brother carried a Titus pendant with him at all times and it gave him a lot of courage and support. Recently during our troubles we frequently asked Titus for strength and assistance and we experienced his patronage, often quite startling, so many times.
Thank you very much Titus for all your help and in your honour we are even more determined to publish more excellent fiction and poetry this year. #SavedByOneBook
14 May 2022
Today was rather a strange day on the market. There were plenty of people, I had lovely chats, lots of interest, but sales were slow in coming, and all stalls had the same experience.
Is it due to all the uncertainty at the moment? Certainly, on the market you certainly keep your finger on the pulse.
Today, I experimented with another way of travelling to the market. This time by bus and train. On the way in it saved half an hour, sadly not on the way back because of a bad connection between train and bus at Swindon. Using the train is also more expensive but it’s good to know all the options.
On a positive note, my market books are now stored in Stroud, so I don’t have to drag them along going back and forth to Shambles market. That’s something to cheer about.
Arnold and I also had several productive WhatsApp telephone calls to set in motion new promotional initiatives. More news soon.
13 May 2022
I managed to get to Shambles Market by bus but it took two hours each way. It used to be three quarters of an hour max by car. I suppose we have to be glad that you can still travel from Malmesbury to Stroud by bus. Actually, I travelled on four busses and on one of them I was the only one not having been to school today.
It was a good day on the market and so lovely to be back on the laid-back Stroud market and being able to do one of the two things I like best: selling books, the other one is publishing books.
Brother Arnold also had a very rewarding day, having good catch ups and support from friends. Things are looking up for him.
We are determined to keep going and make the press successful. As always you can help by telling all your friends to buy a copy of one of our books so that we’re #SavedByOneBook.
12 May 2022
I’m off to the Shambles Market tomorrow to sell our books. I’m looking forward to that but not to travelling there because I have to use public transport. It was such a lovely journey by car across Minchinhampton common, even though the road was occasionally blocked by the cows grazing there. Quite an experience, I recommend it.
Sadly our aging ford fiesta has gone to the Netherlands with by brother, so public transport it is, and it will be a hard slog. But I am looking forward to actively selling our books. Wish me luck!
The car on its last stop in England before crossing the channel.
11 May 2022
I urgently need a lift to and from Malmesbury and Stroud if I’m to run the bookstall this Friday and Saturday. Let me know if you can help.
I’ve been working on several new options to promote our excellent book, and booked a stall at Petticoat Lane Market in Malmesbury on 21 August. I’m following up several other interesting leads.
Today, my beloved Harry escaped and a lovely young lady caught him and dragged him back home. I can’t hold him, however much I try. But it all worked out.
Even though I’ve given up almost everything, I managed to hang on to some of my hats. There’re of no consequence but they cheer me up, and that’s much needed.
10 May 2022
Today, I’ve been busy plotting ways of getting to Stroud by public transport. Why? Because I want to run our bookstall there on Friday and Saturday and my brother and our aging fiesta had to move back to the Netherlands.
I hope someone out there will offer a lift but I’m doing my utmost to get it sorted.
My brother and I also have had various chats via the WhatsApp phone about new promotional activities. There is so much to do and not enough hours in the working day. But it’s good to be able to be fully back in working mode again.
I’m still here in Malmesbury, luckily because I feels so much at home here. Exciting prospects are lining up, follow this diary to keep up to date.
I leave you with a picture of Arnold in a very Dutch setting: river, ferry, etc.
9 May 2022
Our new winding road got off to a good start: a big pre-order for The Past Is a Dangerous Driver. It set me up for the day.
I needed it because I had to grapple with our new accounting system. I much prefer promoting our books but dealing with the figures is important as well. I made some progress but more work is to be done tomorrow.
My printer doesn’t take to our new wifi settings, so it tells me it’s offline. I’ve done all I can to make it work, and will need some expert help tomorrow.
I was introduced (drum roll!) to computers in the autumn of 1976, quite a long time ago, and I’ve worked with them ever since, but the software and systems they host are a continuous source of exasperation. Well, they’ve been put together by human being so have inherited their flaws.
Luckily, back lab Harry is still with me to cheer me up, and I also took two photos of my parents with me, the ones on the cover of their in memoriam cards, and they encourage me to continue publishing, promoting and selling more excellent literature.
8 May 2022
Down but not out! Holland Park Press has regrouped but continues to publish excellent literary books by deserving, often more mature, authors.
There are a lot of exciting new developments in the pipeline and more to come. First up are the new books already signed up: A Diamond in the Dust, the first novel in a trilogy about The Stuarts by Michael Dean and The Past is a Dangerous Driver by Neal Mason.
The latter title has already attracted attention from the literary community, Ian McMillan commented: ‘Here is poetry as history book, almanac and calendar, suffused with humanity and glowing with empathy.’
There is also a film producer who is very keen to secure an option to the film & TV rights to one of our novels.
Follow this quest to bring amazing literature to discerning readers, and we’re determined to find them, that’s why we take out roving bookstall to general markets.
The new ‘office’ is in place, and due to post Brexit regulations dog Harry is still with me, and long may it continue.
The books and printer have also made it to the new destination. So nothing is stopping me now.