Book Update, The Hannover & Other Voices

Book Launch

It’s been a while since I have posted. Organising the Civil Wars: From Dublin to South Russia & Return Journey (I wish I had given it a shorter title) document for printing took a long time. There was a lot of tweaking with the design because of the illustrations and then there were lots of typos – there’s always typos! I could not believe how many we missed. Also I upgraded the paper of the interior too because it was bugging me. It narrows my small profit margin but it makes for a better book. Then there was the launch – at which my father and uncle spoke (I have attached images). My aunt Selina also sent some notes to be read out. It was a small launch – I am not good at marketing! – but enjoyable and I was delighted at those who turned up. One guest, an artist I know, had recently been at a residency in Paris and had happened to fall into conversation with someone about granddad. This person, when he saw the cover image said..‘Thats my granddad too!’ It was my cousin Andrew who is, as she put it, an unofficial cultural ambassador for Ireland in Paris for many years.

Re sales, it’s slow, but to be honest big sales wasn’t a major aim, though it would be nice of course – and also I am rubbish at marketing. Not to mention the fact that I have another life as an artist which this year has seen me be busier than ever before. I would like to get the book in more book shops and give it more exposure and I will work on that here and there down the line. In the mean time it is available widely online and anyone can ask a bookshop anywhere in the world to order it for them. It’s out there in the world now and I am quite relieved. To anyone who has bought the book I would be grateful for reviews on Amazon or Good reads or in blog posts. One of my trusty regulars CJ has written a review which to can find here and in the sidebar to the left. I will also reblog it soon. Thanks CJ!

Having said all that – it’s not over yet…

The Hannover

I have a bit more research to do particularly on the ship The Hannover which was the last British ship out of Novorossiysk. I had not been able to find a lot of information when I was putting the book together but, with the prompting of a reader in France whose grandparents escaped on The Hannover, I have decided to do a little more digging and I will hopefully have a first post on that in the next few weeks. There are other bits and pieces I will post about too, including Irish hsitory, because its the centenary of the Civil War.

Other Voices

Hearing from people whose ancestors were caught in the same maelstrom as granddad has been a favourite part of this project and in the book there is an Other Voices section which includes a brief notes on the people who have contacted me with their stories. I have decided that, with the permission of those who are willing, I will expand on the Other Voices section. This will be in the form of blog posts written by the participants or by myself with information provided. Picture posts are welcome. I will seek approval of those concerned before publishing. I will be in contact with those whose details I already have in the coming months. Anyone else who would like their own families stories and/or photos to have a post here can contact me through the contact form. As can anyone else with thoughts, ideas or corrections etc.

The first Other Voice will be Guy Hunt, whose grandfather was a pilot flying Camels and DH9s, and was with 221 squadron in 1919 based out of Petrovsk and at some point making bombing raids from Chechen Island in the Caspian Sea. Guy has sent me some excellent photos from that period and I have asked him to put together some notes so I can do a post. While I am happy to outline these plans, posting may continue to be a tad erratic as I have a few projects on the go, but I will try to post mostly on a Sunday.

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