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A World War 2 Trilogy - By FRED NATH (Novelist and Neurosurgeon)
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Fred's Blog

February 2011

War, Torpedoes, and Convoys.

As I grew up, I often asked my dad, as any kid would, ‘What did you do in the war?’ He rarely replied. The war stories would come at Sunday lunchtime after he’d had a glass of wine or after dinner when my parents entertained. He was a bit of a raconteur my dad, though I never really took enough advantage of the facts to get him to tell me ‘all’. Although some of his stories were, how shall I put it ‘larger than life’ I have verified the bare bones of them from his papers after his death.
So, there he was, a mid-thirties Asian doctor with nowhere in particular to go.

Homecoming

The problem with being an Ex-pat I suppose is coming home. She must have known it could not last, when she set off for the far away Japanese shores, protected though not smothered, by her diplomatic immunity. The Ambassador’s family travelled home via South America, Honolulu, and Grand Canyon. No wonder both my parents would smile in years to come at the mention of Carmen Miranda. They had both been to Rio but not together.
Märtha must have missed Bishwa on that trip home. Who has not suffered with romantic separation?

Sweden to Japan and back again!

Where were we?
Oh yes, A Synopsis - Japan mid-thirties. 
Afraid I’ll have to go back a bit to southern Sweden and the small town of Höganäs. That is where Märta Greta-Stina Scwartz was born and grew up.
 
Her father was an accountant who worked for a slate maufacturing company. Since her parents did not have enough funds to put two girls through university, my aunt Ruth got the education. My mum, instead of becoming a doctor, became a nurse. In Upsala, where she trained, she learned a lot.

So, what's in a Name?

All my life I’ve introduced myself as “Fred Nath N-A-T-H”. Why? It's because you learn quite early that there are people who, for the love of them, cannot hear ‘th’. It’s a sad fact my wife, my ex-wife, my three sons and my daughter all suffer with the same ‘speech’ impediment when introducing themselves.
It’s all my Dad’s fault. He was Indian – from Kerala. Before he settled in England (after the War) he was called Vishwanath Iyer. He felt it was too much of a mouthful so he became Dr Bishwa Nath.

Allegory

My out-patient clinics seem to be transmuting into book-signings and judging by the people asking me medical stuff at my last book-signing, the converse is true as well.
 
One patient at the end of the consultation in my clinic, said, ‘On a different matter, Mr Nath, I read your book and thought it was very good.’
‘Thank you,’ I said.
‘Are you very religious yourself, then?’
‘No, I’m an atheist,’ I replied.
‘Oh I just wondered because the main character was so religious.’
‘But,’ I said, ‘that is a fictional character; it isn’t me.

Free T-shirts!

Book signing on 19 February. Waterstone’s Middlesbrough. So what do I need to do to sell books? Maybe I should dress up as Santa – like when I give out the X-mas dinners at work on Christmas Day? Nah, free T-shirts that’s the thing! I’m giving away a free T-shirt or a free mug with each of the first 20 books that they sell at the book signing.
My publisher thinks I’m mad. Even my dog grins when I mention it but it’s true. How do we sell books to the poor unsuspecting public? In fact why do we sell books to the poor unsuspecting public?

Publicity

So here I am, a published author. My book ‘THE CYCLIST’ made ‘Editor’s Choice in the Historical Novels Society review. The reviewer liked the book. I think I love her. :-)
 
They said: “This is a haunting and bittersweet novel that stays with you long after the final chapter – always the sign of a really well-written and praiseworthy story. It would also make an excellent screenplay.”
 
Sounds great doesn’t it?
But, there are about fifteen ‘Editor’s Choices’ in the magazine. I have no idea how to get the review seen by the general public for whom the book is written.