The latest reader-review from the USA

Such a treasure to read!!¬†ūüôā

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading this book! ‚ô° My family are from Cumbria, England and I now live in the United States… while reading ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ I really felt closer to my home!

Steve Shearwater’s ability to transport the reader to Cumberland with his wit, memories and humour had me feeling so good! ‚ô° I love this book, I adore the stories and will read it again and again! ‚ėÜ

Thanks, Steve… any chance of a sequel?!

 

[This review¬†may be seen¬†on the Amazon.com website and relates to a “verified purchase” by an “Amazon Customer” in Vermont, USA]

1970s Police Vehicles – The Ford Escort Van (as mentioned in the novels)

This has been posted to help non-UK readers visualise a type of vehicle that was widely used by the British police in the 1970s and into the 80s.

A police-specification Ford Escort dog van

The one shown in the above photograph quite clearly is a Dog Section (i.e. ‘K9 Unit’) vehicle but these vans were also often used as the main transportation for relatively small police stations which typically only had one or two officers¬†on patrol duties at any one time, such as at ‘Hawthwaite’ in my novels.

 

 

 

(If there is any breach of copyright regarding the use of the above photograph, please let me know, with verification, and it will be removed immediately)

Some historical ‘back story’ about the novel My Cup Runneth Over, regarding ‘Snabside’ and the Hodgson family

Not many readers have yet commented on where they think the¬†various placenames in¬†my novel actually represent but here is one for you:¬† ‘Snabside’ is loosely Newlands.¬† (Please be aware, however, that none of the places in the novel are meant to be exact replicas of the real locations that inspired them.)¬† And the key family in Snabside, in relation to the novel, are the Hodgsons – in particular Elizabeth whose beauty and personality more than grab Constable Shearwater’s attention.

Looking northwards, down Newlands, to the distant Blencathra

So how did these names come about?¬†¬†My own, ‘selfish’¬†historical reasons are¬†involved!

Back in the 1960s, 70s and 80s I had two extremely good friends in the shape of Norman and Kathleen Gandy, curators of the Fitz Park Museum at Keswick, and a similar age to my own parents.¬† One of the many historical fascinations they introduced me to was ten years’ worth of a remarkably large newspaper by the wonderful title of The English Lakes Visitor & Keswick Guardian, and over a period I laboriously hand-copied many, many items of local news from those pages.¬† (The bright light of photocopiers and scanners¬†damages old print and this was also¬†well¬†before the era of digital cameras.)

One such article delighted me because of it’s Lakeland Dialect content, although at that time I knew of no personal link with the people involved.¬† The story was published on page 4 of the 1st July 1882 edition, under the title of ‘ACCIDENT at Newlands’.

William Hodgson was returning from Keswick market in his horse and cart but was thrown to the ground when lightning made the horse rear and bolt.¬† The cart ran over William’s leg, breaking it below the knee.¬† His daughter found the empty cart and then found her injured father.¬† She ran for help to nearby Keskadale from where a Mr Wilson came to assist.¬† A dialect conversation between the men reportedly went as follows:

Hodgson: “I’se deun for.”

Wilson:¬†¬†¬†¬†“[Thoo’s] nin deid yit!”

Hodgson: “Ah’ll dee an’ Ah’ll nut be lang nowther if thoo’ll keep off me!”

It was some years later that I¬†put two and two together¬†that Martha Elizabeth, the daughter of William Hodgson of Aikin had coincidentally¬†married Joseph Wren (of a Seatoller family) and through¬†subsequent events became my great¬†grandmother.¬† And William,¬†who did not die of his broken leg, despite his fears, was therefore my great great grandfather.¬† So there you have the¬†two real¬†people who gave rise to three people’s¬†names that¬†I used in ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ for William, Martha (the mother) and their beautiful daughter Elizabeth Hodgson, of ‘Snabside’.

 

The 'modern' house at Aikin - a barn conversion

All that's left of William Hodgson's original house

In the modern house, some coat hooks, salvaged from 
the rubble of the old house

Eddie Wren (a.k.a. ‘Steve Shearwater’)¬† January 2017

Article and photograph copyright. All rights reserved.

Why I ask for readers’ reviews for my novel…

The meme shown below gives several answers to the question about why authors ask their readers to write reviews, especially on the various Amazon websites.

In particular, it is very important for an author to get more than 50 reviews Рsee the second point on the meme Рand as I am only just past the halfway point for this goal, I really am asking for your help, please.

News & Star article about my second novel – ‘The Valley of the Shadow’

I was absolutely astonished when the News & Star ran a whole centre-page spread article about my Steve Shearwater novel ‘My Cup Runneth Over’, the latter of which was published on 11 November – my late mother’s birthday – and now I’m equally surprised and delighted that they have run a follow up article about the second book in the series, that I’m currently working on: ‘The Valley of the Shadow’.

Novel ‘My Cup Runneth Over’ gets a double page spread and a banner headline in the West Cumbria News & Star

A delightful article about my novel (under the pseudonym of Steve Shearwater) from the Times & Star, on 16 December, 2016:

Steve Shearwater’s novel makes front page news!

West Cumbria News and Star, Friday 16 Dec. 2016

I did an interview for the News & Star when I was home in Cumbria earlier this month but I didn’t expect anything as grand as a banner image on the front page!¬† Very pleasing.

 

A review of my novel from a critic I fear most…. A fellow police officer!

13 December 2016

[As posted on¬†the Amazon UK website]¬† “A brilliantly written book set in a time where coppers were coppers. A time when they lived as well as worked in the community they served, knew everyone and everyone knew them and as a result there was a mutual respect for each other. Set in one of the most beautiful parts of the country It gives a great insight into the life of a policeman in the Lake District in the 1970s. Having been born and bred in the area, and having been a policeman in the area for thirty years I had great fun trying to put names to both the places and the characters in the book.
The book is written, and reads, very much along the lines of the James Herriot books, and in my view is equally as well written and laid out.
It is obvious that whilst fiction there is a large element of actual events and experiences used as its basis all of which which adds to its charm.
My only complaint is that I now have to wait for the next in the series to be written and released.
All in all if you only buy one book to read this Christmas make it this one. You won’t be disappointed.”¬†
              [Mr M.A. Johnston] 

Further reviews are available here (and no poor reviews have been left out).

Westmorland Gazette article about the novel ‘My Cup Runneth Over’

An article from what locals often call the “Wezzy Gezzy” – the Kendal-based¬†Westmorland Gazette – about my new Lakeland police novel:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‘My Cup Runneth Over’.

The outdoor images in their photo gallery were taken just last week, outside the tiny and extremely humble quarryman’s house in which I was raised and which, I believe,¬†speaks volumes¬†regarding the achievements of my late¬†parents in respect of all three of their sons.

As for my childhood and teenage years spent on Lake District fellsides and beck-edges, could it have been better? ….¬†If so, I really don’t know how. ūüôā