isolation in 2020

EXTENDED ISOLATION March 2020, the virus has taken hold. London has never been so quiet. It feels as though we can never go back. I never get ill. I never compare the differences between private healthcare and the NHS. Then I hurt my ankle. The pain was excruciating. I couldn’t remember anything like it. This must be what ‘needing help’ feels like. I didn’t care for it. For the next few days I can’t do a thing. My leg hurts when I sleep, try to walk or carry anything. Sometimes its easier to crawl. This is a nightmare. Within a few weeks I’ve rearranged the flat. Now everything I need is close to hand. My pain is nearly gone. There’s a virus in China on the news. It’ll be nice to get back outside, to socialise. Finally my cast comes off. Spring is here, birds are singing. The virus arrives in Europe. Experts advise us to stay indoors. It’s not fair. I’ve just done six weeks! When I had a broken ankle, friends and family helped. They won’t now. I don’t want them here anyway, they might be infected Everyone is a potential enemy now. Last week I was looking forward to a trip to the market. This week I would rather eat stale toast than go to a crowded place. Getting my plaster removed wasn’t meant to be like this. I’ll have to put socialising on hold. Ian Parson, March...

Literature Works Interview July 2017

Date posted: 19th July 2017 / Interviews Ian Parson, the author of A Secret Step and The East End Beckons has written numerous articles and been published many times in a variety of magazines both in the UK and abroad.His new novel ‘The Grind’ will be published by Linkville Press in 2018. We caught up with him to find out more about his new publishing contract and how he divides his time between London and the South West. You’ve just gained a publishing contract for your latest novel – can you tell a little bit about the book and your experience of taking it from concept to contract. My latest book is set in the Victorian East End. Back then there was a street in Spitalfields that was regarded by the authorities as officially ‘the worst street in London’. Its residents were classified as criminal/semi-literate. I had to visit. It was tiny. I counted my steps from one end to the other, 120 paces. Yet this used to be home to over a thousand people every single night. This I found interesting and began to research. I have to admit there is some truth to the claims. The police would not enter Dorset Street alone. It saw numerous murders including one by Jack the Ripper. Yet at the same time to many people it was simply ‘home’. The Grind is the story of two young girls who lived there. As far as the contract side of things is concerned, I’ve been extremely lucky. Linkville Press in Oregon published my last novel and I already knew they were interested. Fortunately they liked the manuscript. You’ve been published by ‘mainstream’ and ‘indie’ publishers. Can you tell us a little about the benefits of each? I would say the benefit of a mainstream publisher, especially as I was new to the process, was their experience with distributors and bookshops. However the publication of my first novel A Secret Step was pure luck. I got talking to a guy at a party who was a partner in a publishing company. They specialised in technical manuals but wanted to move into novels. He told me the subjects I was covering were regarded as popular. East End, Jack the Ripper, The Blitz etc. He ended by saying that when I had finished he would like to see the manuscript. He liked it and they published it. Their help with the editing process also taught me an awful lot. Once A Secret Step was out I was approached from the United States about joining Linkville. They specialise in novels. I liked the offer they made and I am still with them for The Grind. They also got my books into Wal-Mart (Which was amazing). You split your time between the South West and London – how does that impact on your writing? I find this impacts very well on my writing. Being in London is inspiring. Having meetings with people, giving talks, or just exploring the backstreets. It all offers food for thought, gives me a feel for places I am trying to describe. However, it is so busy that the actual process of writing, for which I need a certain amount of calm, is much easier in Devon. I should also include the travelling back and forth. For me this has become an invaluable time for digesting new information that needs a few hours to analyse before trying to include in any story. Can you describe a typical writing day? For me a typical writing day does not start early. I need at least two coffees whilst I think about the overall picture of whatever I want the whole book to convey. By mid morning I will read over what I last wrote. Then I will have another coffee. Only then will I carry on from where I left off. I normally do a couple of hours at a time. Interspersed with coffee breaks, which is really thinking time. This will continue until I reach a point that requires more attention than my brain can manage. I’ll stop at a major scene knowing that I will be more likely to do it justice when I’m fresh. It’s normally late by then and if its gone particularly well, I’ll have lost all track of time. If you could offer one piece of advice for new authors just setting out – what would it be? If I was to offer one piece of advice for new authors it would be – Just finish the first draft. Once you have a first draft the story exists. It is no longer simply an idea....

New novel by Ian Parson


Book Launch in London – Author Ian Parson signs copies of ‘A Secret Step’ at Jack the Ripper site

Wednesday 7th August 2013 was the 125th anniversary of the first suspected victim of Jack the Ripper.  The body of Martha Tabram was found in the alley running along side The White Hart pub in Whitechapel High Street. Ian Parson considered this date and place should be the time and venue to launch his new book ‘A Secret Step’.  Breen, the landlord, agreed and during the day, following some publicity of the event, Ian set up and signed copies of the book. There was considerable interest and an enthusiastic following of people turned up from as far away as North Yorkshire as well as local East End residents.  Even the local street cleaner, who noticed a poster outside the pub and who is interested in Jack the Ripper, called in and bought his signed copy. A photographer from the East End Advertiser noticed the buzz around the pub and called in to see what was happening.  After taking a few details, photographs and talking to his editor, a write-up of the event and other features about the book and Jack the Ripper are planned by this century old East End...

Pre-launch book ‘sell out’ of novel ‘A Secret Step’ by author Ian Parson

For those who are particularly interested in all things Jack the Ripper and Victorian East End, the opportunity exists to join The Whitechapel Society. They hold bi-monthly meetings in London’s East End and produce an excellent newsletter. Being a member of the Whitechapel Society does have it’s advantages including advance notice and opportunity of things to come.  Your author was invited to give a presentation and offer his book for sale to the room as a pre-launch to the Whitechapel Society members at their meeting on Saturday 3rd August 2013. (Ed. – the official book launch being Wednesday 7th August 2013 at the White Hart pub in Whitechapel High Street. This being the 125th anniversary of the first suspected Jack the Ripper victim Martha Tabram, taking place in the alley beside this pub.) Ian took more than enough books for the occasion arriving at 6.30pm with the meeting starting at 7.30pm. While the evening was still young the books sold out. (Ed – Next time Ian either take more books or put the price...

Secret Step author Ian Parson sets novel in footsteps of Jack the Ripper

Read all about it So reports the East End Advertiser. Read all about it, visit the newspaper web site www.eastlondonadvertiser and go to ‘News’ or click the following link: author_ian_parson_sets_novel_in_footsteps_of_jack_the_ripper_1_2325984

A Secret Step – Book Launch, London’s East End

A Secret Step – Book Launch, London’s East End

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