I’ve never met Cheryl (much as I would like to one day) but, from what little I have gleaned since joining Kunati, she is one determined and focused lady! So, when Cheryl told me to ‘post a blog!’, that’s exactly what I did. Oh, and before I forget, the other stipulation that Cheryl made was.’.....and don’t you dare forget a link to Whale Song!’, so here it is.
Of course I’m joking, and by the way, thanks very much for all your help with getting me to this point Cheryl, much appreciated.
Now that I am here, I guess I best introduce myself. My name is Andy Tilley and I’m basically three things; a divorced dad, an international oilfield worker and a soon to be published author with Kunati. If you asked me to describe the emotions that I feel about being the things that I am (and allowed me only a single word for each) I’d go for roller-coaster, lucky and exhilarated. No complaints here whatsoever and indeed, if some grey haired future me had popped out of a worm hole (wearing boot cut denims accessorised with a silver bangle) to tell a giggling, chubby ten year old me (probably sneaking my first ciggy round the back of the garages) that my life would turn out the way that it has, then I would have settled for it.
The garages I refer to are in Manchester, on Bideford road to be exact, and having discovered them one day after school, that’s where me and my mates were to spend the best part of seven years; kicking back, learning to drink and smoke and honing the art of defending yourself against verbal abuse. All valuable lessons, all hard earned skills that have served me well in my grown up life. Manchester is also where my novel, Recycling Jimmy, is set. It’s a great place to grow up and a great place for a book to happen. So many things to learn about life, right there on your doorstep; in pubs and streets filled to the brim with urban philosophers. But like many childhood memories, it’s also a great place to leave as, to be honest, too much street life can get on your tits after a bit. Writing the book naturally brought a lot of all that back to me (the people and their sharp wit, the places and their role in moulding my life) but, and as I keep trying to convince my girlfriend, only a small part of the book is actually based on my own experience. Which bits actually happened I’ll leave up to the reader to decide but can I ask that, if any of you do uncover the truths in there, please don’t tell my missus.
Author: Recycling Jimmy (Kunati 2007)