I hope you will forgive me for detouring from the usual run of subject matter to announce the publication of my first book “The Lives Of Cats – Short Stories and Essays”.
It is available as a paperback and on Kindle. You only need to search “rory fellowes” in Books on Amazon.com (.co.uk/.ie/ etc.) and there it is! No obligation, you understand. Just letting you know 🙂
Writing The Lives Of Cats has been a work of love and a lot of fun, if several more hours reading and re-reading proofs until I got it right can be called fun (it was satisfying at least). Certainly, writing them was. I’m self-publishing because I got bored with trying to find an agent or publisher. In these parlous times they aren’t looking for unknown authors, still less short story collections, so I’m told, though personally I love them, especially for journeys. These have taken a few years to assemble and can be said to have re-fired the embers of writing in me, for which alone I thank them. It’s been a pleasure getting it done and even if no-one buys it I won’t feel I’ve lost anything (actually, a few already have – I published it a week ago, as some of you will already know through Facebook. I should set up a page there too. I will).
The stories are varied, there are some that sprang out of nowhere and some out of experience. The Lives Of Cats (the first story) is based on an adventure of our cat Miss Bickel (named after Travis Bickel in “Taxi Driver” for reasons too complex to explain here – that’s her on the cover). Her story has been expanded somewhat wistfully by my imagination and some research into cats and the details of my local landscape. A Ghost Story has been knocking about in my brain for a while, first as a short film idea and eventually as a story. What are ghosts? Who knows, but this is one possibility, or anyway, one that entertains me. A Long Time Ago began with a newspaper article I read. The Man At Tegel Airport wrote itself one afternoon when I was sitting in that airport waiting for my flight home to London. The Making Of Him is derived from my own experience, things I heard and witnessed and suffered at school. I wrote Lost after falling down in the snow while working in Oslo and being concussed for 36 hours or so, a very surreal experience, but mainly this story is just a fiction. I rather like the way it ends. All The World is an observation of life here in Kerry, loosely based on the varied, hard but satisfying (and unsatisfying) lives I have observed here, but all of the detail is entirely of my own invention. Ups And Downs I wrote for a competition, for which it was not chosen, but I liked the challenge of writing a story in 400 words or less and I like the man and his uncertain grasp on happiness.
The three essays are about places seen and thoughts provoked by those visits. An Island Called Gee-Day is about a journey I made with my wife and some friends to the edge of the Lake Eyre Basin in Australia; The Grave Of Many Thousands is a record of visits to Dachau, near Munich in Germany; and Miracles is about a trip to Lourdes as a teenager.
Personally, I prefer the paperback, but that’s because I like the feel, the smell, the weight of a book. And I was able to design the layout of this book and it is better for it, I hope. Kindle is always a bit perfunctory, don’t you think?
I’m going to be publishing a cd soon (same idea, jewel case cd and download), and after these two I will be publishing more books (and maybe another cd). There will be a new website called roryfellowespublishing.com up and running in a couple of weeks or so, where these things will be announced and linked to Amazon and Kindle, along with samples of the writing and the songs, the full lyrics of the cd (couldn’t fit them in the cover leaflet, except by making the font too small to read), and other such stuff.
Should you choose to read the book, I hope you enjoy it. If not, wish me luck with it anyway!!