A while ago I published my second paperback, Saltpans – it was actually the sixth book in my Radwinter series and I am retrospectively putting out all my books as paperbacks. Anything new involves learning – making mistakes and learning, and what I learned in getting my books available as actual hold in your hand books as opposed to e-books, is that size does matter. I published the first book in the series, Radwinter a while ago, and I now realise I made an error in the size of the book… it’s just too big to hold comfortably or slip into your pocket. I’ve gone back to it and I am now in the process of getting it ready to come out in a smaller version – matching Saltpans! Eventually, all my books will be in the same format and available as e-books and what someone dubbed, tree-books.

Over the six books I’ve written, the life of Thomas Radwinter has changed beyond anything he could have dreamed of or imagined… here is the opening chapter of the first book – Thomas was a very different person then – now he says he is ‘the real Thomas’!

My name is Thomas Radwinter; I’m just really ordinary, and nobody would really notice me… I’m about five foot ten… well, maybe five foot nine, reddy-brown hair, and hazel eyes. I’ve grown a beard because everyone said I was baby-faced and when you’re thirty-two and look like a giant baby it’s a bit ridiculous.

Apart from my brothers and my cousins, I don’t know anyone else called Radwinter, but I’d never really thought about that until my brother Paul unexpectedly rang me. He’s invited me and Rebecca round to meet his new fiancée. I hadn’t even realised he was going out with anyone. I know he has girlfriends but I didn’t think he was interested in anyone in particular. He has four boys, the oldest is eighteen and the youngest, Tom, is twelve. I’m his godfather; I was really pleased when Paul asked me, even though I had to tone it down because Rebecca was put out that she wasn’t asked to be god-mother. I wasn’t surprised about it; we weren’t married at the time; she was my girl-friend, that was all.

I have three brothers, Marcus who’s the oldest and a bit scary; he brought me up really because my dad disappeared, when I was about four I think. He’s fifty-four, so a lot older than me. Paul is forty-eight, and John is forty, so I’m the baby by quite a bit.

I‘m always criticised for being absent-minded and forgetting things, which is why I write everything down… except I don’t write things down, I start writing but then wander off into writing something else and get involved in what I’m writing, not what I was trying to remember.

I’m writing this down because Paul wants us to meet Ruthie, his fiancée, and also he wants to find out about the family tree… he’s asked me to make some notes about it… I don’t know what he means because I don’t know anything, so I started with writing about me and the family, but I’ve wandered off a bit.

My father’s name is or maybe was, Edward, I don’t remember him, and my mum was Sylvia; she died when I was eighteen, just before I went to University. I went to Strand Uni because that’s all we could afford, so I lived at home with Marcus and his wife; my two other brothers had left by then. I know my mum had two sisters, and my dad had a brother and a sister so I have some Radwinter cousins, but I don’t know any more. Maybe Paul will ask them about the family… they’re bound to know more than me. I don’t understand why he’s asked me anyway.

© Lois Elsden 2018



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