By Angela L. Garratt
Saturday 8th October, The Oldbury Writing Group will be at West Bromwich Central library at 11 am taking part in the West Bromwich at War exhibitions in commemoration of all those that lived and fought through the war.
The Oldbury Writing Group has written and compiled an anthology of short stories and poems based on different aspects of the Second World War. The book is called From Sunrise to Sunset, and it is available at all online book retailers.
We will be reading our work from our newly published book and be explaining what inspired us to write the stories and poems that we did. Though our work is fiction and the characters are not real people, we have to say that each story or poem was based on true events. There were pilots that danced the last night before flying off in front of a line of bullets, there were men, women, and children that had to say goodbye to each other, there was an air raid in Coventry and people really did suffer at the hands of the Nazis. This book is not for the faint-hearted, but it does consist of humour, sadness, pride, fear, torture, wonder, and reconciliation. It brings home the fact that everyone who lived through the war fought their own private battles, some of them were won, and some of them were lost.
There are a few reasons why we chose to write this book together.
First: Last year, in 2015 we commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and now in 2016 we are still in the centenary years of the First World War. Not only is it important to remember the fallen and the brave in memory of their sacrifice, but we must also remember so we can never forget the consequences of such political decisions.
Not only as a nation but as a human being, we must learn from our past and never let it be repeated.
Second: We are a writers’ group, and I, the founder and the leader of the group knew the abilities of each member, I knew that each member was/is not only competent enough to write this with me, but I would also be very proud to see a book written by all of us together.
We are already very good friends; we help each other as and when, and we are always ready to give sound advice when it is needed. I may have formed this group two years ago, but it is each member that keeps the group together. We all have our parts to play in the running of this group, and I am very proud of all of us.
Third: Writing this book has given confidence to those that lacked in it. It has shown everyone in the group that all writers can achieve what they believe is unachievable. No one can label a writer because regardless of our weaknesses or strengths, writers all have one thing in common, we write, and that is true regardless of what walk of life we writers come from. You don’t need money to have an imagination, and you don’t need to be a literary genius either. The only thing you need is the will to start, the guidance to continue, and the support from people that care about you.
Many writers, including myself, never have that support at home. I was laughed at when I first told my family that I was writing a book, five books on, they finally believe how serious I am, but I still can’t sit and talk about my writing to my family, not because they have continued to be unsupportive, but because they are not writers, they simply don’t understand the process, dedication or means to write. They don’t understand the total disarray you feel when you are rejected (and rejection is a major thing that all writers have to get used to), or the joy you feel when you are accepted. This is where writers’ groups come in. It is people like me, Nicole, Andy, Percy, Jackie, Dave, and Bally that really, truly understand how you feel because we feel it too.
That is why each of us knows how it feels to be published in the same book, From Sunrise to Sunset is not just any old book about the Second World War, it is a book written by people who are truly passionate about their art and are proud to share it with people like you.
It would be so very nice to see you on Saturday 8th October at West Bromwich Central Library at 11 am. Having your support would mean the world to us.
But don’t think we are going to stop there, there are plenty of plans to show people just how important this book is to us.
In fact, we have a launch coming up soon, and we will let you know exactly when this is.
Don’t forget, we’re on Facebook too, so don’t be a stranger. You’re always welcome.