Crow country authors release debut books

TWO Crow country authors with varying levels of experience are about to release their debut publications.

TWO Crow country authors have spoken of their excitement over releasing their debut publications.

David Catchpole, a Litlington resident of nine years, has written his an autobiographical account of his 50s and 60s childhood in South London as an adopted child, while Bassingbourn writer J.S. Watts has penned her first collection of poems, some of which are inspired by the local area.

Mr Catchpole’s book is titled Barry is a Nice Name, which comes from his birth mothers chosen name for him.

“My mother called me Barry before putting me up for adoption, and when I was trying to track her down my nephew told me she had suggested the name for his child,” said Mr Catchpole.

“I like to think she still thought of me and it came full circle.”

Raised in East Dulwich and educated in Brixton, Mr Catchpole’s story charts his religious upbringing and discovery of blues music and women, up to the marriage to his now-divorced wife in his 20s.

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Even though he had no writing experience – he worked as a civil servant for 40 years – he found the process relatively simple.

“I started writing in July and finished in December, and it was the first time I had done anything like this,” he said.

“I found myself remembering an awful lot more that I thought I would. It’s amazing what you can dredge up.

“Because I didn’t know a lot about my original family and my adopted father died 20 years ago, I regretted not knowing about family history, I never asked about anyone’s early life, or their time in the war or anything. It was interesting to record my memories.”

Meanwhile, J.S. Watts, a more experienced writer than Mr Catchpole, is releasing Cats and Other Myths.

The poetry book examines local and more well-known myths, some of which are inspired by local landmarks.

“In the case of poems like Losing The Easy and Tunes for Autumn’s Last Summer, both of which feature in Cats and Other Myths, it is the gardens and fields around my home in Bassingbourn that provide much of the imagery,” she said.

“In other work, it’s the timeless uplands of Therfield Heath and the landscapes of the Hertfordshire Hundreds that are frequently both subject matter and backcloth.”

The full-time freelance writer will be reading from her book as part of World Book Night on March 5, from 8pm until 11pm, at the Free Church in Market Square, St Ives.

Both books are available to buy from Amazon, with Mr Catchpole’s priced at �7.99 and J.S Watts’ at �10.