Thursday, 27 March 2008

The tinkering is over

Like Claudio Ranieri in his Chelsea days, I have been tinkering. And now it is done. The final version of the manuscript has been sent to Mal, with his comments by and large acted upon. It was interesting reading through it one last time - it actually reads as though it was written by me aged 14, instead of the older, more cynical version. Every page seems to drip with the excessive passion and blind devotion I had for Bromley Football Club. As well as the growing desperation for just ONE good result.

I'm quite excited that some of the original press clippings from the Bromley and Kentish Times are going to be used throughout the book. It was only when reading through these that I realised just how bad Bromley were that season. I think I've always been in some kind of denial over it, but seeing it all in black and white really brought it home.

The book is now up on Amazon which makes the whole thing seem more real.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

They Were The Best Of Times; They Were The Blurst Of Times...

Having finally finished the copy edit of Dave's manuscript, and delivered my lengthy revisions back to the author, I awoke today to find ineligible scraps of paper on my desk of notes to mention in my final blog. Hastily written, these notes were meant to be funny bits of information that would make people reading the blog rush out to pre-order a copy of the book. Well, in theory...

The first line of the first scrap of paper I picked up read 'Marmite and Butter'. For the life of me I cannot recollect why I wrote this. Was this the beginning of a shopping list I later abandoned? Was this something important I was meant to tell Dave? Was it a secret editor's code I’d devised? I have no idea – all I know is that I was so absorbed in the final few chapters of the book that I was writing nonsensical notes to myself and I couldn't figure out why.

I did write other fascinating notes to mention for this blog. I reminded myself to remind everyone that it's Dave's birthday in March and that we should all stop for a moment and send him a congratulatory message. I noted that Alan Stonebridge leaving Bromley FC is a traumatic point in the book that, for those readers engrossed in Bromley's success, will wonder if young Dave ever finds the strength to carry on supporting the team once his hero has jumped ship. I also noted that fourteen year old boys hitching to football games in the late 1960s was an incredible statement of the kind of freedom that people were allowed back then, and, of course, there would be an uproar now if such a thing still happened. I laughed out loud at Dave's mathematics when realizing that Bromley would need thirty goals to win the Kent Floodlit Cup. I found it interesting, but no less suprising, that even in the hippy ’60s The Sun newspaper was reporting football hooliganism. Last of all I noted (with genuine hilarity) that the decade that had seen Elvis, The Beatles, J.F.K. and Martin Luther King change the world so drastically, the UK's Number One single to close the most defining decade in modern British history was Rolf Harris' 'Two Little Boys'. It says it all, methinks.

So, the copy edit is over and Dave will be responding to my proposed changes in the next seven days. On the whole, the book charged onwards neatly and cohesively – though I have moved a few things about. One or two of the chapters endings were prolonged to tease the reader a few pages more; a few 'He saids' need to be turned into detailed discussions and some of the smaller floating paragraphs will require tightening and moving about. One of the main issues of doing a book with such a linear narrative is that some of the match details and analysis tended to repeat the same high and lows (In Bromley's case, lows) but this can be addressed easily. Dave has already come back to me on some of my points agreeing and questioning where required.

Oh, and I’ve just worked out the ‘Marmite and Butter’ thing. Apparently, and I assume this is a typo, young Dave liked Marmite and butter on Weetabix for breakfast.

My note in the margin read simply, ‘Really?’.