I always get excited when writers bring me their manuscripts. More so when it is the second book we have published. Here is a note regarding a new book we've published.
In this case, author Mike Ledingham is tackling the difficult topic of abuse in the Catholic Church with Always a Grunt, the newly published sequel to his popular first book, Once a Grunt.
Like his first book, Always a Grunt is chocker with short stories laced with humour and sharp observations of human foibles and vanities.
However, two of the stories also delve deeper into sensitive areas of emotional turmoil as they recount the tragedy of an infant’s death, and the sickening and unjust dilemmas a youngster faces after falling victim to paedophile priest.
“The feedback after the first book came out was really encouraging,” says Mr Ledingham. “So I feel braver about branching out into some different areas with some of the new stories. It’s still in the same style, though. People who enjoyed the first book won’t be disappointed.”
The stories are drawn from Mr Ledingham’s hugely varied life experiences as a farm worker, soldier, small business operator, real estate agent and armed security guard, to name a few. But he’s quick to point out that while his stories are based loosely on people and events he’s witnessed, he’s taken each episode further in “flights of fancy” and they aren’t literally true.
“There are a couple that are closer to the truth than one would ever really want them to be,” he says. “But I’ll leave it to the reader to figure out which ones they are.”
Although the story entitled The Boy regarding a priest’s abuse of a boy and the impact it has on the family, could have been a book on its own, Mr Ledingham says it is a book for another time.
Always a Grunt is published by BMS Books, whose Director, Mike Smith is also the author of this blog. He says he believes Mr Ledingham is among a rare breed of natural-born storytellers.
“Given the raw emotions involved, The Boy was a difficult story for Mike to write but his growing depth as a writer is reflected in the outcome of this and the other stories in this new book.
“Mike’s stories will have you crying tears of laughter one minute and weeping in sorrow the next.
His subjects range from the bawdy comical to the tragically unjust, with plots and characters that are totally believable. He describes situations as they are, and he never preaches.”
Always a Grunt is directly from BMS Books, and at selected bookstores. If you can’t see it on the shelf at your local bookshop, ask about it. ISBN: 978-0-473-29049-8.
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