Welcoming new author, John Bleasdale to talk about his debut book "Scotland's Swedish Adventure".
Hi John welcome to So Many Books, So Little Time.
Q1. Thanks for taking time out to chat with us. Tell us a bit about you.
I’m a 41 year old married man with two sons. I’ve always had a passion for writing and studied journalism at college then university, but dropped out of Uni because I didn’t like the direction it was heading in. I’ve kept my hand in though by writing for the Famous Tartan Army Magazine and Scottish Football Forums, the latter of which I co-host a podcast for.
Q2. What happened that you decided you wanted to write a book & why specifically this type of book?
I had read Neil Doherty’s book World Cup 1998: Scotland’s Story before last years delayed Euro 2020 Finals and it gave me inspiration to do one of my own. I’ve always been fascinated with the Euro 92 story, particularly how it is grossly under appreciated compared to other finals Scotland have appeared in, and my aim was to bring the story to light.
Q3. Apart from Scotland do you follow any other football team? If so would you consider penning a book about them?
I am an Aberdeen fan for my sins. Yes I would definitely consider penning a book about them, or even help one or two of them pen an autobiography.
Q4. What research did you do?
I knew most of the story through memory but watched YouTube highlights of qualifying and finals matches to remind myself of certain incidents, and went down to the Mitchell Library to get further detail of the squads that were picked for certain games. Most importantly though, I conducted zoom interviews with seven of the 20 man squad, Manager Andy Roxburgh and his assistant Craig Brown, journalist Hugh MacDonald, commentator Jock Brown, and 15 fans through a combination of zoom or email. Their accounts are what make this book special.
Q5. How did you go from the idea, to the writing, to getting published?
The process took me seven months, which in itself is remarkable given a lot of authors take a year and a half to two years. Add to that, I have a full time job and two kids, so I’m really proud to produce a quality product in such a short space of time.
Q6. How easy or difficult did you find writing this? What if any obstacles did you meet?
The biggest obstacles were when my youngest son, Henry, got not well on two occasions, and I lost a week each time of writing and research. Fortunately, I had a great publisher in Pitch Publishing behind me, who were so relaxed that they were accommodating and put no pressure on me. The actual writing didn’t phase me as it’s one of the few things I have full confidence in, but I still sought advice from friends by letting them review a chapter each to see that it read well. I am fully grateful to each of them for their assistance.
Q7. This is your debut – do you see you writing another book?
Yes, I’ve got the bug now. I’ve got one or two ideas floating around in my head but, right now, I’m going to let the dust settle on Scotland’s Swedish Adventure, enjoy my upcoming summer holiday with Suzanne, Callum and Henry before I start planning the next one.
Q8. Are you doing any or have you done any book events? Where can fans find you (social media etc)
My launch day was at the Scottish Football Museum, Hampden, which was a Q&A session hosted by Hugh MacDonald and attended by Craig Brown, Jock Brown and Dave McPherson. It was a fabulous day that was well attended and well received by those who were there. There are no upcoming events planned though I am open to any venue who will have me! Fans can find me on Twitter @jbleasdale81, on instagram @jbleasdale1981 or by listening to the Scottish Football Forums podcast through the usual platforms.
Q9. Where is the best place for people to buy your book? What if they want a signed copy?
They can go to Amazon, Waterstones or Pitch directly to buy a copy, or if they want a signed copy to message me directly. My DMs are always open and I do respond quickly – on a normal day!
Q10. Anything I haven’t asked you want to cover/answer?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to promote Scotland’s Swedish Adventure.
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