Today we talk about A Search for a Son, a book by Brian Winder published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Brian Winder to get to know him better and what has brought him to the writing of his book A Search for a Son.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book? What was it?
As you get older and prepare for death, you want to save your wife (or someone else) the dilemma of deciding which of your things to throw out + and which to keep. Well, there was a pile of papers at the bottom of a wardrobe recording each step in our search for our son who had disappeared for 9 months in the year 2000 and was assumed dead. 9 months is a long time for things to happen, and the records were largely there at the bottom of the wardrobe. I needed to decide: whether to burn them all or write them up. Then at the end of 2019 I had become less busy because I had decided I had done enough over the last 25 years in my full-time volunteering in founding and working with homeless charities. So I was looking around for something else to do. Then the year 2020 dawned and the Lockdowns for COVID-19. So I was confined to the house and I had the opportunity to write it all up into a book, which I called “A Search for a Son”.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I would like to hear of any similar experiences to what we went through. What I mean by that I would like to explain as follows: do this: there is a website called “asearchforason.com”. Open that website by copying and pasting it into the Google address line, then clicking on the different menu items (white typing on a black strip) at the bottom of the Home page, and tabbing below the black strip to see the text each time (the text won’t just appear with a click; instead tab below the menu item), then going back to Home page using the arrow ←. then select the next menu item. That web-site talks about themes or aspects of the story, whereas the book simply tells the story itself as it happened, not knowing what would happen next – so like a detective story. The themes are: worries about a child being dead – quite different from sadness for a parent dying; then whether you are optimistic or pessimistic; then the great desire of a parent to know how they died besides just knowing he is dead; then the getting of information – made difficult by this modern obsession with privacy; then how easy to be conned if you are desperate; then mistrust— how a European will only trust a European, and an Indian will only trust an Indian (paralleled to Brexit in the UK among the less-educated); then how tourists and even backpackers never really get to know a country; then the kindness of strangers; then the extended family supporting each other and suggesting various actions and praying.
- Is there a book you are particularly attached to and has it taught you something?
It is very hard to answer this, because there are many different genres of books. And I have favourites in each genre. For instance, in human stories, a little parallel to “A Search for a Son”, there is “A Long Way from Paradise” , Leah Chishugi’s describing her personal experience of the Ruandan Genocide. However I will chose a different genre of book: philosophy. The book is “Insight” by Bernard Lonergan. Why do I choose that? Because my philosophy dissertation long ago was on a chapter in it entitled “Things”, where it asks what is a thing? The word “Thing” exists in every language, while the word “is” does not exist in many languages I could name. So what you understand by a “thing” is very important. That was the subject of my dissertation. Of course, the Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament are strong contenders also.
- How was your publishing experience?
Long and arduous, and if you include marketing, even more arduous. The 3 or 4 UK publishers who saw my text rejected the book, mainly because they said it was about past things, and all the excitement that was aroused by the story of the lads going missing and then coming home two days before Christmas had faded away long ago. We live in a world of momentary interests. And the young hadn’t heard of the event at all. I saw the publishers’ point of view. So much for getting a publisher. So I was told to self-publish, and to rewrite the whole story in some unspecified manner. So I approached Europe Books and they happily accepted it. And they gave me good help. That suited me, since I have always felt myself to be international though I have forgotten most of the 5 languages other than English which I spoke reasonably in my 20’s. The above is about the publishing aspect. But in the marketing aspect, the journey has been harder still. What do you do to market a book? That is not yet finished. Here are some possible solutions Just ask your friends to buy it? Not much cop for 500 copies. Next possibility: phone householders? But such unsolicited calls are mainly from conmen in India, and are not appreciated. Amazon? Book shops? Book Fairs? OK but buyers have to know a little about a book before they seek it out. So how do you tell the public about a new book? Obviously the best means are TV, or Radio or Newspapers. But you have to have had experience in that …. and be LUCKY — a very important thing in life.
- Are you planning to write more books?
No, because the only subject-matter available is about my varied life and I have always shunned being egotistical like that.
Europe Books thanks the author Brian Winder 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 A Search for a Son. We wish him the best of luck for this novel and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish you to let yourself be carried away by the vicissitudes that accompanied the search for the son of the author of only 9 months and all the people who were involved in this research, fortunately with a happy ending. Perhaps, reading this book, will help you reflect on some important life issues or it will resonate with some events that have happened to you. Whatever this reading may represent to you, I really hope it would help you to have new ideas and new perspectives for your everyday life!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this very adventurous reading!