Here is some of the comments from my friends on OS when they saw the cover of my book, copied above.
"That cover photo is amazing. Amazing is not even the right word. If that alone does not attract attention in a bookstore, your stories will. That photo needs to be made into a poster. Like I'm in charge. Great news and best of luck! We are so proud of you!"
"Beautiful cover, and what wonderful praise. Congratulations! Do you know if the book is being sold in American bookstores, or is it available online only"
"That is a beautiful cover, too."
Thanks for those words of encouragement. Away from the virtual world many have spoken of how the cover first drew them to the book. The design has clearly been doing its business correctly.
What about the blind? Have they missed out? It is difficult to compensate for that in terms of pictures etc. However, for those who can see with some limitation the print has been presented as clearly as possible. Could this be my answer to such a conundrum? A passage from the book reads:
"Walking along this initial road, Eddie was to discover his first glimpse of the real world of Aden. He looked around him with pity as he saw the young children sitting on the side of the road, begging, crying out “Baksheesh, baksheesh”. Those who were able to would begin to follow crying out with the same words, “Baksheesh, baksheesh”. Generally speaking, this was a term that referred to anything free of charge, but strictly speaking, this would be a term that referred to what a beggar asks for. It was not merely the sight of the children begging that caught his attention, but the condition of the children, which he had never witnessed before. They had no choice about being limited in their movement, because each of the children had at least one limb missing. Maybe it would have been a leg, maybe it was a foot, maybe it was an arm, or for some it was just a part of a limb. It was not so much important which limb, or how much of a limb, but the fact that there was a deformity at all amongst those who were at a stage of life when they should be enjoying the fun and laughter of childish games. This was clearly something they would never be able to appreciate for themselves. It was such a sad sight, and yet they seemed to accept their fate so well, perhaps never being able to remember life in any other way except for the existence with these incomplete bodies.
How each of them got the deformity was often left to speculation. People would guess and make assumptions, but in reality no one knew for sure. Every morning, an adult Arab would be seen driving up and depositing a number of these children near to the gates of the military base, no thought being given even to a provision of water to drink in the midst of the heat, which was something that was left for them to beg for.
This was an extremely lucrative and worthwhile position from a begging perspective. As the British personnel passed by they would find it difficult not to be touched with pity for these young unfortunate lives, seeking out a few coins from each passer by. Those organizing the children would have realized that it is very difficult for people to refuse a hungry, thirsty looking child begging as you come out of the base, having completed a full meal consumed in the mess. You would have had to be completely heartless and unfeeling not to have been touched by the sight of young lives so clearly in need of just an ounce of human compassion, and it was impossible to reach the shops behind to purchase the luxuries of life, without passing by one of these poor, disadvantaged youngsters. No matter how hard one tried, it seemed impossible to avoid the sight of these unfortunate children."
Our hearts go out to such disabilities as these children had, but what about those on our doorsteps, waiting for a chance to read?
It is an attempt with big print, though never enough to meet the needs of those fully blind. Yet there is a further concern that has troubled me recently. Dyslexia. They can see, but the medical condition creates further difficulties when desiring to read. The book is being read in various countries, and is soon to be seen in Urdu, the language of Pakistan. But what of those in our own country who need to find a translation that is suitable for the senses they have.
I have been thinking these thoughts through since returning from the Hebridean tour. It may be some time before I have the full answer, but I am considering a talking book. I need to find a studio that will be sympathetic to the needs, otherwise the costs will make it difficult to present the book to some I would be trying to reach.
Would it be easier for them to have it in tape, or digitally recorded on disc?
There are many questions, with answers still to come. But these early ideas are first reported on OS.
It is possible that some of you are in contact with those I would be seeking to reach. It would be helpful to get some feed back as to what they would find helpful if they wished to "read" a book using the senses they have.
Thanks for any assistance you may give.