grew up with the feeling that miners were exceptional, even mythic
knowledge of the very veins of the earth was down to experience, insight and long study. The seams underground were his obsession, even his poetry.
I had another uncle – a leader of his men – who when he was aboveground grew prizewinning flowers and had a hand in creating new strains of certain familiar flowers. He also had a very good singing voice which he liked to share.
It was a nephew of the flower-growing uncle – the late Norman Cornish - who in his youth turned his mind and his hand to drawing and painting, and ended up with a national reputation as a very respected artist.
Inspired by my background I have written short stories based on my literary and museum own research, as well as my family experience of the role of the underground miner. And I am a particular admirer of writer Sid Chaplin – one time miner whose novel The Thin Seam is of perfect evocation of men working underground.
The novel is called Gabriel Marchant; How I became a Painter
and for a week is on Amazon Kindle from 99p
Gabriel’s own story is fiction but it springs out of my personal experience of a particular place at a particular time and my research into the true experience of people whose lives were changed in such a way.
Truth and Fiction
I hope in this novel, through my fiction, I have arrives at some truth about the lives and the heritage of all those grandfathers and uncles, going back through generations in my family.
She says "Art, though, is never the voice of a country; it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction; in particular, the novel.”
And always in the background is Archie working to release the butterflies in chrysalis state, a gifted group of young people desperate to escape the web of ignorance that could condemn them to life in the dark as black as any mine'
|Gabriel is on Countdown offer up to end of the month.|