A recent reader of Eclipsed was in touch to take issue with my book. Too self-deprecating for his liking, prompting his conclusion that it’s not a book for everyone. Subjective of course and although I didn’t feel inclined to counter, it did rankle a little.
Because Eclipsed is true and it contrasts an eldest son (very-in-demand actor) against his dad (pub comedian and blogger) I think it warrants self-deprecation – which I use also for the purposes of humour.
Credibility wise I don’t know which ranks lower: pub comedian or blogger?
One of my favourite movie lines is by Robert Downey Jnr as Iron Man to Peter Parker (my son, Tom) in Spider-Man Homecoming (I think).
“…Peter, through those doors is the world’s press. Proper journalists… No bloggers.”
I don’t know RDJ – I’ve never met him – but Tom tells me he’s hilarious and that he likes to improvise. I suspect this line was his own and with great effect because it made me howl.
A dig at bloggers and why not?
Because let’s face it, no writer wants to be a blogger. A blog is the starting point for something greater to come and until this ‘greatness’ arrives, at least it serves as an outlet for creative types (subjective?). I enjoy having my blog. It punctuates my week, keeps me observant and on alert for things to write and I am grateful to the readers who show up each week whatever the weather.
And sometimes I enjoy little breakthroughs with my blog – as happened this week and why for the first time, I am publishing a continuation of last week’s post To the Rescue… when I wrote effusively about The Rescue – a documentary on Disney about the rescue of the Thai football trapped in a series of flooded caves deep within a mountain. The most remarkable story of heroism and human triumph, starring two ordinary but remarkable English blokes – one of whom (Rick Stanton) read my blog and got in touch in the comments section.
This is the sort of ‘reach’ that any blogger strives for – albeit not as remarkable as Rick reaching the stranded boys miles within a mountain but everything is relative.
Rick was asking for my help to publicise his book – Aquanaut – the inside story of this remarkable rescue – and immediately I wanted to oblige. I ordered the book from (you know who) and it arrived the next day. I can’t offer a review just yet but I am still happy to support because of what Rick and his buddies did and what they achieved.
In what I have read already, Rick’s quirkiness is apparent. It even makes a point I observed in last week’s blog, that on his way to the cave each morning, he found it easy to ignore the waiting journalists all desperate for a soundbite, but passing the bereft mothers waiting for news was always difficult and what spurred him to continue diving deeper in to the cave.
I would have tagged him to my post and I wasn’t surprised that he wasn’t on twitter.
He doesn’t strike me as social media type (crap signal in caves?) and why his comment on my blog was even more a boon. I don’t imagine he follows my writings. More likely that someone from his publisher alerted him and suggested he makes contact.
It is apparent that Rick is a modest man and it probably went against his instincts to ask for publicity – the very thing he eschewed when the world’s press were beholden to him.
I like modest people – but by equal measure I dislike false-modesty.
Self-deprecation can be interpreted as false-modesty but I still stand-by my story Eclipsed. I have recently published a new edition – yet more rewrites of a book already written countless times until it felt right. The most difficult element is achieving the correct tone in telling a story with pride whilst never being smug.
And what an odd story and one worth telling. With no plans in place, how a kid who never had a speaking part in any school play went on to become Spider-Man. And because this happened to an ordinary family, I feel that Eclipsed is indeed, a story for everyone and is not so dissimilar to The Aquanaut: how an ordinary bloke and his mates achieved something extraordinary.
The whole world enjoyed witnessing these Thai kids being saved from certain death. It made everyone watching feel better about ourselves and our world and for this alone, Rick’s book deserves the very broadest support and readership.
This post can be a precursor to my forthcoming review – which I predict will be stellar.
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