After that, I took up a writing correspondence course (long before the advent of the internet or e-mail) and wrote a number of short stories; two of which were produced for radio in the 1980s.
More recently still, I actually wrote a memoir of my early experiences in the law but when I realized that so much humor underlay them (often at my own expense), I decided to use the material instead to provide the basis for a light-hearted novel.
So Wig Begone by Charles Courtley was conceived and born.
Writing it though, meant much more than just churning out another piece of fiction. It became a cathartic process too as, in many ways, those years had been very hard indeed. At one stage, I came quite close to a breakdown as the result of the emotional pressure of the work I was doing, and only the support of my long-suffering wife saved the day.
By the same token – and hoping I don’t too sound pompous in saying this – I felt, by writing the book, that I had given permanence to a small passage of a human being’s time on this earth, by describing it in words.
Even if one person only in 50 years time, were to read a copy of my book,long discarded but now rediscovered in somebody’s attic, I would be rewarded enough.
As I had faith in my work and not wanting to delay the process, I decided to self-publish from the start. There’s one distinct disadvantage though – you have to fight the prejudice that the industry holds against those of us who have chosen to go it alone.
This isn’t insuperable however, if you have a reputable self-publisher (my own, Matador/Troubador were excellent), and are prepared to work hard in publicizing the book yourself.
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He is the author of Wig Begone, a tale of a young barrister’s triumphs and tragedies. As well as adapting his novel into a screenplay and writing a sequel, he contributes to legal newsletters and blogs.
Find him online at http://courtleyprocedures.wordpress.com.