The last 25 years of my working life was spent writing radio and television scripts about a number of different topics. I covered medicine, productivity, toothpaste, manufacturing telephones, photography, power stations, pollution at sea, and distance education, bakeries, banks, nation building, tourism, diets, meat, margarine, aluminium, marathons, birds, splitting the atom, HIV / AIDS, crime, what to do in an emergency, legal information, modern classical music, maths, English literature, top athletes, lifestyles, science, mining. LA21, health, education, roadworks, sewage systems, and so on and so on. They all had two aims in common, education and information. Why it was wise to brush your teeth, why it is unwise to prepare beer in unwashed chemical drums and the constant harping on about hand washing and hygiene.

I wrapped up these messages in a variety of stories in a humorous and entertaining way.

Despite the vast array of different subjects the messages were all straightforward – good, wholesome advice. After all this writing and producing I felt I had a secure understanding of how things worked and how they should be.

Until, I started marketing my books. Now the world wasn’t black and white at all. I’ve learned that you can pay for clicks to ‘like’ your pages, and pay for reviews, and coerce important people into endorsing your brilliant tomes.

Those practices are fairly easy to recognize as ‘wrong’ and unethical, but then how do you differentiate between an introduction fee and bribery? What’s the difference between an agreed ‘buy my book, I’ll buy yours and we each write a review?’ or, ‘you are my friend, will you please write me a review?’

Some of these actions are widely slated by some authors, but I know (from personal experience) that the big 5 publishers do very much the same thing, business lunch with arts editor of national paper, quick word in radio producer’s ear for a slot on Saturday afternoon? Glowing words from another best selling author in the same stable on back of dust jacket. And what are we to think of the recently exposed famous authors who are writing reviews on Amazon for their own books?

So, is it all a matter of degree?  And why is it acceptable to pay for a review from one company and but not from others? I’m still trying to get my head around all of this.

However, I can safely say that the anthology of short compiled by Ian D Moore and written by a wide range of indie authors, is squeaky clean. It’s being put together with help from Lesley Skye in aid of the Macmillan nurses who care and support cancer patients. I will be telling you more about this is the coming weeks as it is not out yet, but when it is, please, please support this cause and buy a copy.

Which brings me to Queen Jane (well it doesn’t really but I can’t think of a better transition this early on a Monday morning!) Next month I probably won’t even remember who Queen Jane is, but today I do, as I am giving a talk about her next week to our history group. What a sad life!

Circa 1553, Lady Jane Grey, (1537 - 1554), who was married to Lord Guildford Dudley in May 1553 as part of her father's plot to gain the crown. She reigned for nine days as Jane, Queen of England in 1553 before her execution on a charge of high treason. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Circa 1553, Lady Jane Grey, (1537 – 1554), 

She was related to the royal family, but she did not have a nice Mummy, who was totally teed off she only had 3 daughters. And you can’t begin to understand how important it was in those days to have a son. To start with only sons were allowed a free London travel pass, and they got a higher old age pension as well.

As soon as Edward was born, Mummy decided he would make an excellent match for her eldest daughter Jane. Sadly, Henry VIII had other ideas, so that idea went down the drain.


Poor little Jane was ruthlessly educated learning Latin, French, Spanish, Italian and Greek which i’m sure proved practically useless for wining, dining and hunting at court. And this at a time when it was illegal for women to read the Bible!

Jane was then sold to Sir Thomas Seymour for £2,000, with the idea that he would get her married off to King Edward. The sale was on the HP (hire purchase). It was £500 down payment, another £500 on betrothal and the last half when they got married.


But Thomas did not come up with the goods, and was arrested and thrown into the tower and had his head chopped off  for tying to kidnap the King. Even then that sort of thing was not encouraged.


Her mother thought Jane a boring, pedantic child, always on her knees praying. Mummy wanted her out there charming the king.

However, that was not going to happen now, the king was ill so poor Jane was married off to Guilford, the youngest son of the Duke of Northumberland as he was powerful and close to the king. And then Edward died leaving … (cliffhanger ending here).


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