Guest Blog by Alan Lee Ford

Three Books
Thank you, Shirley for giving me some space on your excellent Blog.

Writing is a casual hobby for me and not something I have to do every day, but to see my three books to date available for the Kindle from Amazon has given me a real sense of achievement. My first release was a ‘lightweight’ thriller called The Hickory Factor. A friend and inspirational writer, Sallyann Sheridan, suggested I should have a go at writing a novel.
“But what could I write about?” I asked.
Her simple and logical reply was, “Write what you know.”
Well, almost everything I know involves the city of Birmingham and the fitted kitchen industry – with a little bit of building industry thrown in.
Birmingham is my home city although I was actually born in Smethwick. If I haven’t been living within the city boundary, I have been working there in one way or another most of my life and almost all of my long-time friends still live there.
I have been involved in the kitchen industry since the late 60s. My first six years of working life were spent as an apprentice plumber. Following redundancy in 1968 I used my experience and knowledge to further my career by joining a city centre Builders’ Merchants. During that time I began designing kitchens using the original Hygena System 70 and Wrighton furniture. I went on to manage a showroom in Solihull, open my own showroom in Moseley and then venture into manufacturing and product design. My latter years have been in a training role and now I am the KBSA designated Kitchens and Bathrooms Expert for the Grand Designs Live show at Birmingham’s NEC and London’s Excel centre twice a year.
So naturally The Hickory Factor is all about a Birmingham kitchen designer who finds himself and his son in mortal danger brought about by a family seeking revenge for something he did in his past. I have a sequel partly penned, but no release date as yet.
My biggest project at present is my autobiography. I haven’t led a particularly remarkable life, but there have been some interesting periods. I carry some baggage, like all of us, but have been extremely lucky to have reached my 66th birthday. The story is told in three parts: It’s All About My Parents’ Son – Part One 1947-1962 is available now for the Kindle. Part Two 1962-1980 will be available in 2014 and Part Three 1980 to 2010 some time in 2015. In part one there is some social history, some social comments, quite a lot about my parents and grandparents and the variety of influences on my life. If you know Birmingham, maybe attended Birchfield Road Boys School in Perry Barr, then there will be something, in fact quite a lot, which should interest you.
My third book is a collection of short stories entitled The Day Trip, Other Short Stories and Poems. There is something for everyone, but all adult stories, not for children.
You can follow me on Twitter @HickoryFactor or download my Kindle books from Amazon: Click here to go to my author’s page http://amzn.to/Z6D4Mz

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