I like to know interesting people.
Mad inventor John Ward, who designed the three annual Malcolm Hardee Awards for me (see him with the awards here and here) read my blog yesterday – about how getting publicity does not necessarily lead on to getting extra work – and he has written to me explaining how he has recently got work from not getting publicity.
John has been occasionally described as an ‘eccentric’ and, indeed, has appeared in many magazines, TV shows and even academic medical books on the subject. Here is his story in his own inimitable words:
In the last few weeks, I have had a sudden surge of enquiries as to my availability for giving talks – one for a University! – and after the first couple, I decided to enquire as to why this sudden ‘surge’ – oooh, I do so like a good surge… and it boils down to this…
It would seem that a book has come out – from what I can gather, the third one or, rather, an updated re-cobbled effort of the first two – called Eccentric Britain – by one Benedict le Vay – yes, that’s his name by all accounts. It features ‘Britain’s eccentrics’ although I would stress I am not included though I have never lost any sleep over this mere trifle..
By a quirk of whatever, I came across Edition 2 at a car boot sale a few weeks ago for a modest 10 pence (yes, I know – robbed again..) and read it through and it’s basically a travel brochure in all but name as might be gathered when you see it is published by Brandt Travel Guides.
On asking one of those who was enquiring about my availability why they wanted me, I was told - I quote ‘ere – “If this bloke does not realise you are who you are, the book is incomplete as all I had to do was to put ‘eccentric inventor’ into Google and you are plainly there and if I can find you, why could not this tit? So I thought I would book you.”
Oddly I also heard from another bod who heard one of our local radio station’s presenters mention the book on air. He reviewed it as “lacklustre as it leaves out our own local/internationally known mad inventor John Ward”.
Based on all this excitement, I decided to write a letter to Benny boy at Brandt books, with a Thank You card enclosed, for all the efforts he had put into ignoring me - not that I wanted to be in it anyway – and to point out I was in numerous other, real books on the subject and all he had to do was look up my web site and the list is there complete with their respective ISBN numbers and to thank him for his recent effort where I was also not included and the effect of this was for people to look for me on the net as I was ‘left out’.
After five weeks, the lad has not been taken enough to reply.
So being left out of a supposed book on a subject does have its ‘rewards’.
John Ward is available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, universities and television shows if they pay enough.