#GuestPost “Another Shot” by Stephen Anthony Brotherton

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Another Shot: A Day in the Life

It’s still early days for me as a full-time writer. I retired in April from my over thirty years career in the health and social care sector, which means I’m still in the process of establishing my writing routine. One of the first things I did was to create a dedicated writing space at home, buying an Indian mango wood desk and a middle of the range ergonomic computer chair, all watched over by my Maldivian Monkeys and my framed posters of Elkie Brooks and Bruce Springsteen. The office seemed important, a symbol of the change that had taken place, but so far most of my writing has been done in other locations. I’ve used the Darwin Room at Shrewsbury Library – a Grade 1 listed building near Shrewsbury Castle; the home of Shrewsbury School from 1550 until 1882. It’s an inspiring backdrop for writing a love story, with centuries of history oozing out of its foundations. I’ve also used a couple of the coffee shops in Ironbridge, overlooking the River Severn, nice walks along the riverbank to stimulate the creative juices, and Gingers Coffee Shop in Shrewsbury, not far from the library. Coffee is important – Americano with hot milk. I know it’s an addiction and probably bad for me, but, you only live once. My process for writing is just to write. There is no plan. On a good day, the stories just flow and even I’m surprised and how the words have come together and the direction the plot has taken. I try to get the first draft written quickly – get the clay on the wheel, and then edit, edit, edit. To paraphrase a quote from Mark Haddon, I’m an okay writer but I’m a persistent editor. In fact, some would say I’m a bit OCD in my approach to editing and the hardest thing I’ve had to learn, and force myself to do, is to let go of the final manuscript. It is your baby, but there comes a time when you have to say, that’s enough. If you’ve read the book, you’ll recognise some of these characteristics from Freddie and Jo-Jo. As I say, it’s early days and I’m still in transition, but I pinch myself every day that my lifetime dream has come true. A fractured seven year old boy is eternally grateful.


Another Shot cover

Another Shot

“It used to make me feel special, the fact that they knew me, knew what I wanted, but it had soured with repetition. I’d become my drink order – that’s what it felt like. But it was okay. People watching in this place made me feel part of the world, got me away from the house for a few hours. And it was here she came back to me. I hadn’t seen her for three decades and suddenly there she was, standing next to my table.
‘Hello, Freddie’.”

Another Shot tells the story of Freddie and Jo-Jo, who are reunited in a coffee shop thirty-five years after the end of their teenage romance. Jo-Jo finds Freddie through a mutual friend and tells him that she is emigrating following the death of her husband. She gives him a photograph of the two of them on their first weekend away, a trip to Blackpool.

How they originally met, why they parted, what happens in their lives apart is all told through a series of flashbacks. These memories feed into events when they meet up again and explain why, despite the passage of time and the intensity of their still simmering love, there is no future for their relationship.

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Stephen A BrothertonAuthor Bio  

‘I was born in Walsall, grew up in the West Midlands and now live in Telford with my two cats, Boris and Tai. After working in the health and social care sector for over thirty years, I have now taken early retirement to write the trilogy that has been rooted in my head for most of my life.

Another Shot is the first book in the Shots trilogy, which is based on a first love relationship I had as a teenager. It tells the story of Freddie and Jo-Jo, who are reunited in a coffee shop three decades after the end of their teenage romance. How they originally met, why they parted, what happens in their lives apart, and what happens when they reunite is all told through a series of first person vignettes. The second book, An Extra Shot, will be published in July 2019. I am currently working on the final installment.

Getting these stories down on paper has been a cathartic process. I hope you enjoy them. ‘

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