Playing Out – Swings and Roundabouts outlines the first ten years of Paul’s life.
Abandoned by his mother at six weeks old, he lives alongside three brothers and a sister being raised by their lorry driver father. Struggling to cope, their father does his best to provide but living on state handouts means the children often go without.
Being motherless has a huge impact on every aspect of his existence. In way of compensation, swings and roundabouts, Paul is afforded the freedom to roam. Hardships aplenty, lacking the nurture that often comes from a motherly embrace, Paul is being sculpted, his life is playing out.
Set in the 1970s, the older reader can enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane and the youngsters can view the offline existence of kids who wore flares and had bad hair. Products and television programmes, toys and confectionery, the sweetest of memories entwined with the roughness of a working-class environment. Street games, scrumping and sewage tunnels. A patchwork quilt of Paul’s memories stitched together using a rather coarse yarn makes this story a true account of British social history that is both poignant and humorous. All the main elements of the story are genuine incidents, although many of the people and places have been distorted to protect the guilty and to assist with the flow of the narrative.
Playing Out: Swings and Roundabouts is now available on Amazon.
Soon to be on Smashwords and other ebook sale sites such as Apple. Paperback due out next month.
USA Kindle link: http://amzn.to/2aQhcaV
UK Kindle link: amzn.to/2aQnuo4
…SPECIAL PROMOTION… LOWER PRICE…
To encourage sales and to gain customer reviews (which are crucial for success) I have discounted Playing Out: Swings and Roundabouts to the lowest price possible.
Kind regards PDL.
Books Store Links:
http://amzn.to/2aQhcaV (usa kindle)
amzn.to/2aQnuo4 (uk kindle)
Also here is a couple of adverts.
I’ve been trying to design my next book cover. I’m going for the Indie-Author homemade look.
All images sourced using the Google parameters: free to use, share or modify, even commercially.
I have a basic draw programme that allows me to cut and paste, stretch and skew. BUT not much else, hence the plain appearance. Personally I don’t like the high-gloss generic style of many covers.
Kind regards. PDL (comments welcome)
My intentions when writing Paulyanna International Rent-boy were to share the somewhat unorthodox adventures of the main character, Paul.
I wanted to deliver an authentic voice, to reshuffle the mindset of a mainstream audience. To lay bare a known yet often misunderstood existence. To raise a qualified voice that has experienced the prejudices and assumptions of society. A soul that has walked the miles.
Dwelling on the past serves no purpose, yet it would be remiss not to outline childhood events that have left their mark on Paul’s psyche. Inadvertently I have reenforced some stereotypes because real life tends to. It is no revelation to discover the neglected and misused in the gutter. To witness uneducated waifs straying along pathways of intoxicants. The percentage of sexually abused amongst street walkers is somewhere in the high 90s. Paul’s story is typical in that sense.
Yet Paul is an ordinary individual, with goals and aspirations no different to yours. A place to call home, financial security and to be loved.
Whilst writing I attempted to develop the character’s personality as events influence his growth. Sculpting a finished product worthy of the public’s admiration rather than its scorn. To present a slut with guts, and half a brain. To reveal the guarded emotions locked behind those glazed expressions.
There are many worldwide locations portrayed along the lines of an alternative tourist guide. Hence the tongue-in-cheek title, Paulyanna International Rent-boy a morph of international playboy. Topical events, name dropping and historical facts are sprinkled within to add flavour and to cement, by association the existence Paul in the real world.
Before reaching his final destination you will witness flaws galore and ridiculous predicaments. You will not see contrition. No embellishments and very little heart-string manipulation. There are a quite a few running themes amongst the pages, optimism, faith, music, travel, love, writing and vomiting. 😉
I truly expect many of you will enjoy this refreshingly honest life-journal.
Thank you for your interest, kind regards PDL.
HERE ARE BOOKSTORE LINKS…
Paulyanna International Rent-boy is a first person account of an impetuous working-class young lad with aspirations.
Thought I’d brave another sample share… It is very much a work in progress (So.. go easy on it.) It hasn’t seen an editor.
Carole and Paul approach the door with apprehension, afraid one of her teenage sons will answer it and chase them away like beggars. It has never happened, yet the fear is always present. As they creep along her gravel driveway they huddled together like worried primates. A debate as to whom should press the door-bell, initiates a Hokey Cokey dance. In, out, in, out they step about the front door porch. Today it is Carole who is first to shake off her qualms and the inevitable happens. Ding-dong the doorbell song echoes it’s hollow tune. Waiting patiently for a moment they guess that perhaps she hasn’t heard it, so try again. Speculating that maybe Mrs McGaveridge is outside in the back garden hanging out her laundry. This convinces them to press a third and then a forth time. With no response the dejected pair decide to try again later. Paul suggests that they wait over the nearby Rec, a playground area beside the graveyard. The Rec is limited when it comes to entertaining children. It has no swings, no slide and no see-saw. It does have two concrete playground tunnels. One reeks of urine the other is strewn with fleshy pages of top-shelf magazines and glass from broken bottles. The jungle-gym climbing frame does manage to occupy the pair for almost ten minutes as they swing about apelike. Moving on, they look ridiculously awkward ambling about the play area. Both hoping their twisted gait of crossed fingers, arms, legs and eyes though not quite toes will bring them some good luck. It isn’t long before these monkeying antics lead them to a crumbling corner of the playground’s surrounding wall. With assistance from a sturdy branch, they hoist themselves up, over and into the graveyard.
Careful not to tread on anybody’s grave they weave around the enormous stone crosses and statues, peering up into the eyes of winged angels hoping to witness them blink. They read the headstones of beloved wives, fathers, daughters and sons. Discover tiny new-born graves and old moss covered relics. Some are so ancient it is difficult to decipher the faded markings.
“Arr… look, this one’s got no flowers” Carole gazes down to an empty vessel on a neglected grave.
“Yeah… and that one there’s got loads” Paul points to a well maintained plot with potted plants and green glass fragments. Sympathy strikes them both and they begin a redistribution of what Paul interprets as wealth.
“No… you must only share the plastic ones.” Paul informs his sister as she reaches out to a fresh bloom.
“Yeah, cause them ones last longer doe they?” Carole adds.
“No…It ay stealin’ cause them only plastic and we’m just moving um.” This makes perfect sense to Paul who guesses that God would also agree that these faded flowers have long served their purpose and therefore it is all right to share. They continue the mission with a sense righteous holiness, selecting, thanking and placing the blooms with words of endearment upon lonely resting places. Carole spies a sunken grave, cracked open with a gaping hole. The broken headstone bearing their own family name. Freaked out they run from the graveyard with muted terror. Only when they are back beyond the broken wall do they release their gasps. Emitting something between a laugh and a scream they nervously hug one another. Carole suggests that perhaps it belongs to their real dad and at home sits an impostor. Properly spooked a seed of doubt takes root.
Below is a sample of my work in progress, please be kind. It hasn’t seen an editor.
Yuletide, a magical event full of miracles that temporarily wash-away Paul’s hardships in it’s yearly ebb and flow. Christmas gifts, his reward for saying his prayers every night. So significant to him that he measures the passing of his childhood from one festive season to the next. Paul absolutely loathes boxing day. To the disappointed child, that still didn’t receive an etch-a-sketch, counting the days till next Christmas seems like the equivalent of waiting two lifetimes. Presently that wait is almost over, plus the fee to attend this year’s school party has been waived and Paul lines up between Stuart and Bobby eager to enter the school dining hall. Under instruction to remain calm and quiet the class troop along in single file.
Stretching the width of the hall, three rows of trestle tables, one for each class has been laid out with coloured napkins and Christmas crackers, paper plates and plastic glasses. Interspersed all the way along the table’s centre, resembling large coloured lightbulbs, glass jugs of orange squash and lemon cordial further brighten the merry scene. It is a weak façade this calm. Hushed whispers soon bubble into boisterous babble about cake. Paul’s stomach groans and his mouth waters at the very thought of it. Greedy eyes bulge in search of delights not yet placed on the tables. Paul can hardly contain himself. Breaking ranks some children surge forward and a melee to secure places next to specific friends ensues. Bobby, Stuart and Paul sit alongside one another.
Delivering their array of delectable delights, the remaining surface of the table is soon covered. A parade of jolly dinner-ladies, festively bedecked with tinsel bowers and themed aprons, convey plate after plate of party foods. Mini-sausages skewered on cocktail-sticks in one hand and chunks of pineapple with cheese in the other. Bowls of salted crisps and trays of sausage rolls. The flow continues. They proceed to lay down various platters of sandwiches, egg and cress, meat paste, boiled ham and cheddar cheese. The ravenous kids begin to fidget, Paul more than most. Lastly, but by no means least the cupcakes arrive. Sponge fancies in paper cases decorated with ivory icing and multicoloured sprinkles, diamond sugared jellies and chocolate drop smarties. Barring the watercress and potato crisps there’s not a vegetable in sight.
With napkins spread across on their knees Bobby, Stuart and Paul, as well as a few others, on the advice of older siblings, swipe more than they can possibly eat. Concealing their hoard on laps beneath the table. Some plates are emptied before grace has been said and at the furthest end of the table Martin Murphy, is loudly chastised for being a greedy selfish child. This provokes a teetering mass of crumbling cakes to be returned in haste. Prayers are recited by the newly ordained Canon Westward from St. Jude’s church and following an enthusiastic Amen, crackers are pulled, tissue-paper hats rustle and rip, and the feasting begins. Paul furtively reloads his napkin with goodies to take home. As time progresses he scoffs a few sandwiches, a good portion of crisps and lots and lots of cakes. He also polishes off two bowls of lime jelly. Bloated and slightly nauseous, Christmas for Paul has most definitely begun.