The Iraq War veteran-turned-novelist and political campaigner Neil Blower has become a guest blogger for Palamedes.
Blower, who also served in Kosovo, will reveal the trials and tribulations of making the difficult transition from frontline soldier to “21st-Century wordsmith”.
Over coming months the critically-acclaimed author will also provide aspiring writers with practical information about securing a publishing deal, drafting a title with consumer and sales appeal, finding a literary agent, and the importance of a good publicist.
The first of Blower’s posts, From the Battlefield to The Booker, went live this morning.
Blower, who was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2005, penned his first novel, Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins, during his first year at university.
The title won the hearts of readers and critics alike, and received rare support from a string of heavyweight politicians including Hazel Blears MP.
Blower is now one of the UK’s foremost campaigners for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and is the brainchild behind calls for a Veteran’s Champion in every community.
The campaign is currently being championed by Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary.
In his first post, Blower writes: “Now I’ve finished my second novel, which is due out later this year, and have started my third. I love writing. I have the best job in the world. You’ll hear many writers talk about how hard it is, and it is hard. But not as hard as getting shot at by lunatics and having bombs drop on your head!”
He continues: “For me good writing comes from the heart and is filtered by the head, and to write anything at all (to quote Hemingway) “you need to sit at the typewriter and bleed” (or in our case a MacBook Pro!) and if you do that, when you ‘ve finished writing your book, found a publisher and gone through the process and you finally see it on the shelf of a bookshop or online, you’ll get this feeling of accomplishment that very few people will ever know. I may never sell a million copies or win the booker prize (and it won’t be through lack of trying!) but no one can ever take away the fact I’m a published author.”
You can read Blower’s first post, From the Battlefield to The Booker, in full here.
Jon Kirk, Blower’s publicist, described the posts as a “window into a little-known world”, and added: “Neil Blower is one of life’s true fighters. He’s fought for his country, he’s fought for his health, and he’s still fighting for veterans with PTSD. Now Neil is fighting for what he deserves – international recognition for his exceptional titles.”
Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins is out now at all good bookshops
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilBauthor
By Anthony Harvison
Tuesday, 26th February 2013