Today we talk about The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Otherwise Unremarkable Andrew G, a book by Sam Simmonds published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Sam Simmonds to get to know him better, where he found the inspiration to write his memoir The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Otherwise Unremarkable Andrew G, as well as how he would summarise the extraordinary life of Mr. Andrew G and the contribution he gave to the world.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write this memoir?
First, many of my colleagues and friends, both in the United Kingdom and in Australia, on hearing anecdotes of my past life over the many years at both ends of the world where I had been domiciled for some time and feeling that my life experiences were extraordinarily unusual, recommended that I try to get them published. Despite their encouragement, however, I was much less optimistic, doubtful that anyone would seriously be interested in the life story of someone whose name had remained stubbornly unknown to the world at large. Then, my beloved partner had been curious about the veracity of some details (including, for example, whether I had genuinely been an early mentor in the stellar career of Sir David Frost, or had once regularly read the news on BBC Radio 4, both of which, like every other detail in my book, were indeed true) and, when she was tragically killed in the Covid pandemic, I felt duty-bound to honour her memory by completing the notes I had been irregularly and tentatively recording in the two previous years.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
Having resolved that everything I chose to include would be absolutely true, I would treasure knowing that readers have been entertained and informed about my experiences of life and have found my style of writing and explanation easy to follow, so that on every page they have been keen to know what happened next to me. While I acknowledge that many – indeed most – of the organizations that over the years had employed my services, and many of the fascinating people I had met and worked with and were then household names in their own right, no longer exist, I hoped that my reminiscences would nevertheless appeal principally to people of around my own age, who would enjoy being reminded of times, people, places and events from their own recollections. One device that I have consciously employed to punctuate, validate and, I hope, enrich the main narrative of the book is the inclusion of quotations in prose or verse, song lyrics and, on two occasions, pages from sheet music by classical composers. As explained in the text, these have all represented for me personal inspiration and delight.
- How would you summarise the extraordinary life of Mr. Andrew G and the contribution he gave to the world?
There must always be a certain degree of speculation about how much the world has been affected – for good or ill – by the influence of one person in his/her lifetime, directly or indirectly, on how the world is managed in practice – or on those responsible for managing it. When I, as a transmission controller for London Weekend Television, was asked by Rupert Murdoch, directly, three key questions about the process of co-ordinating the live output of a television station, did my responses affect his decision about his investment in that station? David Frost never forgot the early introduction I gave him to the complexities of researching a television programme and preparing it for transmission and never failed to greet me every time we met later during his illustrious career (and my conspicuously less colourful one) but was that reflected in the world’s appreciation of him – and how much? I have always been amused by my seemingly invisible presence in ‘the corridors of power’ among the rich and powerful and have often wondered about just how much I may have, knowingly or unknowingly, contributed and how different my life might have been had I taken ‘the road less travelled’.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
When I noticed an advertisement asking for ‘interesting’ life stories to publish I was undecided about applying. For three years I had been jotting down details of various incidents in my life – dilatorily and diffidently – deeply unsure of their value to a reader from a different country, of a different age, religion or demographic, and doubting whether anyone could possibly be sympathetic to my very personal reactions to life’s vicissitudes. At that time, I had produced a mere 27,000 words, unlinked and with no obvious final shape as a finished work. Furthermore, I was still deeply depressed and discouraged by the death of my partner two years previously and was living in a new home far from my friends in London. But, on a whim, I sent what I had to the publisher and for six weeks heard from them exactly what I had expected – nothing. When Europe Books suddenly notified me of the success of my application, I set to work earnestly to finish the job and am gratified and delighted that their confidence in me has helped to produce something of which I am proud and which I believe many readers will enjoy.
- Are you working on new writing projects that you can tell us about?
Immensely encouraged by the faith in my writing shown by Europe Books/Europa Edizioni, I have revisited the book and now see it as, so to speak, ‘the edited highlights of my life’ and, perhaps, an incentive for many readers to learn more about me. (However, one of my friends who has read it has mentioned that, once or twice, it has seemed to suffer from ‘name-dropping’. My feeling about that is that it can hardly be otherwise if the premise for writing it is accepted.) In the hope that Europe Books might be interested in a more in-depth self-analysis of my experiences – and there is much more to tell (with only the occasional ‘name-drop’!) – I have begun to prefigure a sequel. Naturally, at present this is only a work-in-progress at a very early stage of preparation but, again, I guarantee that it will be scrupulously honest and truthful and that it will be characterized similarly with appropriate accompanying illustrations by other – better-known – authors.
Europe Books thanks the author Sam Simmonds once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book The Extraordinary Life and Times of the Otherwise Unremarkable Andrew G. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader may this book entertain you and make you curious to know more and more about the protagonist’s life experiences and that the variety of the writing style here used could enrich and colour your story interpretation.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!