Pull up a chair!

For the second time in a few days, the blog I wanted to write didn’t happen.  Today I was going to write a blog on ‘Words’  It was one of those blogs that came easy to me and didn’t require to much research or anything time-consuming as some of my posts are want to do.  Then it dawned on me that with a bit of work it would make a great little book, so apologies for that, I guess you will know what I was writing quite soon.

I do like writing factual books.  I’ve written before of how I’ve found factual books sell better for me than fictional ones.   Not only that but on average I can write a factual book in anything from a day to a month or two so with a strict business mind, it is also a more profitable use of my time.

I do like researching, I guess it is the historian in me. In my time at university, I studied quite a few fields that were and indeed still are at the cutting edge of history.  I know it sound strange that there can be a cutting edge of history but there are many.  I used to really enjoy looking through old books and then in my postgraduate course, looking through actual first hand evidence and coming up with my own conclusions whether that was translating old Ottoman Turkish coins, reading 19th century French political philosophy in Africa or getting lost in the official government archives in Kew, London and reading all the old top-secret documents.



National Archives at Kew

The problem I found was that I was quite easily diverted during my research.  I’d start off reading about wars in Palestine and Israel and end up through a series of dusty old envelopes and official files to the issues of banana rationing in Britain after WW2.

If not being diverted once this week with a blog that will become a book then actually this is the second time in a week I’ve been down that particular road.  On tuesday I started on another factual book relating to tourist sites in London.  I would say that I have that 15% completed before I got diverted.  I should have guessed though that nothing to do is London is small and though I fully intended to polish it off in about a month, the prospect of stumbling across my new book this afternoon and completing it much quicker was too much to stop me getting diverted.

I have so many books in my head at the moment.  My V1 Vixen vigilante book which came out a month ago is selling better than I expected, actually my best selling novel.  It is doing  nicely in the USA too.  I’m not sure why except perhaps that movies about London gangs are quite popular and maybe I found another niche.   I have two other factual books in my head and my Star Trek book 50% complete.  Originally I wanted that out before the new film in July but happily a new Star Trek series is coming out in January so that gives me another more easily managed target.


In none book news, my tours are going well.  At the end of this March, I will be up on the end of last March which is good.  Year 2 of my tours were up 300% on Year 1.  The challenge is to match or surpass the year 2 total as last year I had two week long tours and this year so far there have been no such bookings.    One interesting aspect is that my London walking tours have done really well over the winter.  Lots of Sherlock and Jack The Ripper walking tours which don’t provide lots of money but are much better than nothing and mean I don’t have to drive through London.    I’m hoping these and others continue to take-off.

Next week is going to be my first really busy week of the summer (well still winter in London) with 4 tours in 7 days.  One Sherlock tour, one London sights tour, a trip to Churchill’s home at Chartwell House and then a day out to Blenheim Palace.

I’m sure I will be exhausted by the end of it as touring is a nice job but a tiring one with often very long days and the need to be enthusiastic and bursting with energy at all times! The last two days I haven’t been bursting with energy as for some reason I have had a sore back.  I thought it could be from moving three-quarters of a tonne of soil and compost into my vegetable patch on Saturday but a 5 day delay is a bit of a long time for that.  Just as likely is that I spent an hour yesterday morning sitting peculiarly on my chair yesterday morning.

Still I have a nice new radio next to my computer now.  My uncle kindly treated me to a belated Christmas/birthday present.  Originally it was to be a smart-phone but ofcourse I don’t really use my existing mobile phone.  My 1990’s era phone has made the total of zero calls so far in 2016 and received the same number, save for annoying marketing calls which I ignored.  In all good faith, I couldn’t have an iPhone or Android which costs hundreds to either purchase or rent when I have no need or use of one.  I just don’t know what people do with them, have they got nothing useful to do with money?

Anyway, instead, I have an upstairs internet DAB+ radio which is neat as it pretty much performs the same function as my old shortwave scanner radio but with the clarity and ease of use of a digital radio.  I’ve already got more use of it in a few days than I would a phone in a year.  Also, it’s retro walnut finish kind of goes well with my classic bankers lamp don’t you think?


It also allows me to move my 1980s ghetto blaster complete with cassette deck to a less used bedroom. If thus radio last as long then it will last me into the 2040’s. No one can say I don’t make things last!

So that’s my news.  Hard to believe we are nearly a quarter of the way through 2016.   If you have a moment and listen to the radio yourself, let me know in the comments what your local radio station is that you listen to.  I’d love to tune in to what you listen to.




About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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