Eric Charles Bartholomew
Eric Charles Bartholomew has also written Two Books
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to send me comments. I really appreciate it. Mary and I have been busy travelling around, promoting the books, so, unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to pay attention to my blog; plus any spare minutes are taken up with my next book. Writing is very addictive, I find. If I’m not writing on paper (I prefer longhand), I’m writing in my head! Can’t stop!Thank you David and Leanne for the following comments:
While I am writing this letter, Lee Anne is absorbed in your book. She thoroughly enjoyed ‘Distant Horizons’ and told many of our friends that you are an excellent writer and she enjoys your style of writing. Lee Anne is hesitant to lend the book to other people and has only loaned it to one other person with very strict instructions on returning it. DavidI’m halfway through ‘Angels and Dirty faces’. It’s giving me a good insight into your background. Well done, Eric! I loved every page of ‘Distant Horizons’ and can’t wait to get my hands on the follow up book. Keep writing.
September 4th, 2009 | Category:
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME! Eric C. Bartholomew
My first memory is going to a dance with my father, and then going home with my mother!
My next memory finds me standing on a stage when I was about five years old. I cannot recall the misdemeanour that made my teacher drag me up there by my ear, but I can still recall the pain in my fingertips from the swishing cane. The shock made me wet myself; I can still feel the heat running down my legs to form a pool around my feet. For this I got a further lashing. From that day I hated school and they – the teachers – hated me. Let battle commence! My body went to school but my mind was elsewhere and I was expelled several times, including from the Cubs. At eleven I started a Saturday job at Davenports, fitted furniture specialists, and got thirty shillings (30/-) a week – a princely sum in those days. I spent the last eighteen months of my schooling sitting in a front row desk with the first year boys, me staring into space waiting for the final bell. I left school at fifteen with two fingers in the air.
I served a long apprenticeship with my father, learning graining and marbling, special paint effects, paper hanging and decoration, eventually becoming a Master Artisan in my field. Very early on in my career, I worked for many of the Lords and Ladies of our Realm and many film and stage stars. At this time I could barely read and write and I began to realise how ignorant I really was. This shocked me. So from then on, I began to read, very slowly at first, but, like sex, the more you do it the better you get at it and the more you enjoy it. From Dickens to Wilbur Smith, Isaac Asimov, Dylan Thomas, Leon Uris – I couldn’t get enough. About the same time, I discovered Radio 3 and 4, and my mind became a sponge, absorbing anything and everything. Only later did I learn to differentiate between fact, fiction and bullshit.
At twenty, I was lucky enough to meet Mary, my future wife. She was sixteen going on thirty- five, and nine months later we were married. Before she was twenty-three, we had three children. Sadly, our first child, a little boy, was stillborn. Then we had another son and two daughters. I grew up, put my nose to the grindstone and grafted. For the next twenty odd years my family came first. Then, when our children were old enough to call us silly old farts, Mary and I began to travel – Europe at first. As the children, in adulthood, fled the nest, so did we – India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the world – for four or five months at a time, always escaping our English winter.
Sitting on a beach in Goa, one year, I watched an old man fishing just offshore with a circular, weighted net. I befriended him, buying him meals of rice and whatever, and he taught me to fish offshore. He told me the true story of a poor fisherman who, one day while fishing, came across a swarm of king prawns. He filled his boat to the gunnels, going back to re-fill several times. This not only gave him wealth beyond his wildest dreams, but enabled him to go on and, from nothing, forge a business worth millions that included a fleet of boats and a canning factory. He not only supplied beach shacks and restaurants, but exported to several European countries.
This was the story that set me on the road to writing Distant Horizons. Writing longhand, it took me two and a half years, with many rejected pages round my feet. I first wrote the bones of the story and then added the meat and muscle afterwards, and somewhere along the way it took on a life of its own, a baby (I can now understand why journalists talk about putting the paper to bed!) growing and growing until it could stand on its own two feet: a story in its own right. Then came the many months of getting it into print: the doubts, the uncertainties, the traumas and commitment along the way. The day I held the completed book in my hand was like getting married: emotional, with a long journey ahead, holding hands and cajoling each other along.
I hope you enjoy Distant Horizons. The sequel, Dark Horizons is on the way.
Good reading and may the books be with you!
Our Travels across The East
in four parts is also available on DVD now!