Settle PETals. It is indeed a map. A twitter percentage breakdown map of where your twitter followers are from. I must say for a wee lassie from Dundee, and not just anyplace in Dundee either, I feel well travelled. Which is why it is pure dead brilliant, to be able to introduce this pure, dead brave gentleman. (The Dundee-isms are creeping in already, a few kens now and we’ll be there).
The brilliant, the unsuspecting, when I think about the last time a guy was brave enough to step on here… Paul Kennedy.
What? Were you expecting a dead crow? Well, hang about. Forrest Gump’s box of choccies ain’t got nothing on not knowing what you gonna git on this blog..ahem.
Paul has a new book out which he’s going to talk about…if he gets the chance. But do you really think I am passing the pure dead brilliant chance for a blether with a pure, dead brilliant fellow Dundonian? We can get to the pure dead crows in a mo.Shey. It’s awfie bra tae meet ye the day. Whaur are ye fae? Ok..Allow me to translate for our readers. It is wonderful to meet you today, Paul. Dundee, of course has such a turbulent history, having been sacked and razed, please let me show a little painting here of the defence of St Mary’s steeple…
it’s a wonder there’s anywhere left in it to come from. Then of course there was all the moving of people to the hinterland. A bit like growing up in a frontier outpost I must say.
(Remind me to blog it sometime.) So naturally, while the answer to the question where you come from may seem to many of you to speak for itself, it doesn’t.
Paul. First of all, it’s an honour to meet YOU, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for promoting my new book.
Shey. just give this time….
Paul. I was a Charleston/Lochee lad,
Shey. Being a Fintry girl, I am seriously behaving here. We want no fights between the Fleet and the Shimmy and the Shams. Oh, or stories of how they renamed streets in Fintry because no-one would live in them. That is Lochee’s Cox’s Stack above. Ahem….
Paul. But my gang of friends were from the Ardler and St. Mary’s areas; and that’s where I misspent my youth. I’ve probably lived in every scheme in Dundee at one time or another though and I’m a proud Dundonian first and foremost.
Shey. Yay! just like Desperate Dan.
So come on then, William Wallace, Mary Slessor, Captain Kydd, Bonnie Dundee, Admiral Duncan, the whalers, the shipbuilders, even those associated with the town like Captain Scott, Mary Shelley, give us the gen on your favourite historical character.
Paul. My favourite historical character, associated with Dundee; is the jute worker. And I have always said there should be a statue erected in the city square to show our respects.
Shey. Well, I don’t know Dan’s gonna move over and I don’t fancy shoving him out the way. He’s a size 100 chest for a start. But yeah, the city also has that past. Does a picture of Verdant Works jute museum suffice?
No doubt, like me you have some Irish Tatty famers who worked the mills. Now are you going to give us that favourite….. childhood memory. (See how tidy I am keeping this today?)
Paul. All my favourite childhood memories centre around my late, great, granny Kennedy. My book is dedicated to both her, and my cousin. If I had to pick out one memory, it would be eating fish suppers from St. Mary’s chippie, while my gran let me stay up late to watch “The Sweeney,” or “The Professionals”.
Shey. See that? What did I say last post about fish’n chips? I don’t suppose you’ll give us the futba team you support? Hmmm?
Paul. Given my Irish ancestry, and Charleston background, my futba team is Celtic. A lot of my pals however. are true-blue, Dundee fc fans, and in my teens I tagged along with them, and followed Dundee all over the country.
Shey. Mr Shey sees this and he will go titz but not to worry.
Paul. I had some great times and I still have a soft spot for them. The city should also be proud of United, who have a great history over the last forty years; and lay claim to some remarkable achievements.
Shey. Oh okay….to be fair and keep Mr Shey happy…..
Paul. Celtic are my team though, always will be, and until now, I’ve been a season ticket holder; but I’ve decided I’m getting along to Tannadice and Dens to lend my support next season; and would encourage the many thousands of blue noses and Arabs to do the same. They’re two great clubs with a unique, sporting rivalry.
Shey. Now Paul at last…tell us about your book, A Murder of Crows…I just want to assure Ranting Crow this is not about an attempt on his life.
Paul. I am now 38, and although this is my first book (not including my small collection of poetry last year “The Black Crow”) it’s not something I’ve just turned to.
I’ve written since Primary school, but for various reasons, only now find myself breaking into the publishing world. I think there are far more opportunities for unknown writers out there now, with things like CreateSpace for example and this explains why I’m now in a position to release my work. I can assure your follower that unless he is the man I spoke to on the Dundee-St Andrew’s bus in the late 1980s when I should have been at school; then the book’s definitely not about him!!
Shey. All right Ranting, you can come out of hiding now. So, what’s the inspiration behind the book which I hear famous Dundee institution Grouchos has some signed copies of this week?
Paul. For inspiration behind the book, see my last couple of sentences on question 5 haha.
Shey. But Paul..you promised…
Paul. Seriously, my friend and I had a strange experience on a trip to St.Andrew’s one day, involving a man who transformed into a crow.
Shey. I’m not going to ask what you were on.
Paul. We were subsequently bothered by crows for a while, and the whole thing stayed with me. I liked the eerie, macabre side of it all and how it could be tied in with other things that I wanted to talk about. A Murder of Crows” is about Gavenia.
She’s twenty years old and grew up in care, after both parents abandoned or rejected her. She has no idea who her father is and little memory of her mother. Steffan is a handsome and enigmatic stranger, who’s entered her world, at a time when she’s already struggling, and things are about to get a whole lot worse. He takes her on a dark journey of the soul, pushing her to the very edge of sanity…and beyond?..as she’s forced to face her demons.
The story is set between the spirit world, the physical realm, and Hell, and I feel that I’ve created some interesting characters and given myself a lot of scope for their development.
Shey. OOH.. Sounds fabulous. What’s next for Paul Kennedy? Apart from attending futba matches?
And scaring poor Tinkerbelle hamster there?
Paul. Next, I am working on the sequel to a “A Murder of Crows” which will be much longer, and far more in-depth. I hope to publish that next year, followed by a gritty Scottish-based novel (provisionally titled ‘Damaged’) following the misfortunes of a lad who grows up in care, then ends up in the prison system. It’s looking at the cycle of abuse from a different angle.
Shey. A lot of aspiring authors follow this blog. Any advice for them?
Paul. Advice for aspiring writers?…write! Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. Don’t let praise go to your head and don’t let negative reactions to your work bring you down. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
Write what YOU want to write. Write what YOU need to write.
and do whatever it takes (within reason) to get your work out there, but ultimately, be yourself. Break rules if you need to. Some people will love it and ‘get it’ most people probably won’t, there are billions of people on the planet, you can’t please them all, so please yourself, build up a genuine wee readership, and please them too.
Search out blogs such as this.
Shey OOH HALO.
Paul. Research, edit and promote your work. Don’t rush anything out there until you are satisfied with it, and excited by it. Write about your deepest, darkest fears and secrets. Things you would never talk about. Or write about love, peace, hope and joy. Whatever it is you are compelled to say. Whatever it is you need to exorcise – And take it easy on the alcohol.
Shey…. Sure you can ignore the last!!!! Thank you Paul. And good luck. You can buy the book here…
And follow him here. https://www.facebook.com/paul.kennedy.908
Or if you are in Dundee….just pop into Grouchos.