I’ve been busy researching and scribbling away of late so I thought you might like an update on some of my published and in-progress writing work at the moment and for the immediate future. So here we go!
My local history researches are always ongoing, with something new and interesting coming to light regularly. My last Memory Lane article in the Walsall Chronicle newspaper, for example, covered some of the fascinating old pubs in the village of Bloxwich, West Midlands. A particularly exciting discovery was an ultra-rare photo of the Sandbank Tavern, now known by local tradition as The Romping Cat (after the coat of arms of Sir Gilbert Wakeringe) which had not seen the light of day since 1955!
My next article in the Chronicle will be about the history behind some of the street names in the metropolitan borough of Walsall.
Coming up soon I also have an illustrated article being published in the March 2013 edition of The Blackcountryman, entitled Captain Clark: The Leamore Lion Tamer. The Blackcountryman is the highly respected magazine of The Black Country Society, and is available both by subscription and in branches of WH Smiths newsagents.
Freelance local journalism
As a professional photographer, I have written and illustrated a number of local news articles and provided photos for the Walsall Observer, Walsall Advertiser and Walsall Chronicle newspapers from the early 1980s to today. There’s nothing in the pipeline at the moment but I’m always open to offers of filthy lucre these days!
Since 2006 I have been the editor, publisher, photographer and main writer of The Bloxidge Tallygraph, the online community news and local heritage magazine for Bloxwich and district, England. The Bloxidge Tallygraph has now morphed into The Bloxwich Telegraph – to read The Bloxwich Telegraph, follow this link. It’s a little quiet at the moment due to other priorities but expect things to warm up as the weather does :O)
Local history non-fiction
Some of you may have read my two local history books, Billy Meikle’s Window on Walsall (2010) and Reflections of Old Walsall (2012), both published by Walsall Local History Centre and still in print. You can currently buy these at Waterstone’s in Park Street, Walsall at £5 and £6.99 respectively. They are also available at Walsall Local History Centre (signed if you like!) including by mail order, and in Walsall Museum and Walsall Leather Museum.
Good news is that Walsall Local History Centre has now asked me to write my third book for them – working title is ‘Walsall: Then and Now’ – which will comprise short histories of the towns and villages within Walsall Metropolitan Borough together with period and my own contemporary photography. This is expected to be published in November 2013.
I am currently re-writing my ‘hard steampunk’ story Gravship Turbinia. It forms the beginning of a set of stories based around the same central character which I plan to publish as an anthology on the Amazon Kindle and now Kobo e-readers. Before then it will hopefully be re-published in another magazine (it appeared in its original form in Science Fiction Freedom in September 2011).
I am also currently researching a book or possibly trilogy entitled Commonwealth of the Sun, following on from my steampunk stories into an alternate 20th and 21st centuries where the British Empire expands across the Solar System before undergoing dramatic change.
There are a few other things bubbling up in the background, I’ll be sure to share the news when anything concrete comes along.
Anyway, that’s all for now – it’s nose to keyboard time! Thanks for taking the time to read.
– Stuart Williams