Thursday, 27 August 2015

Video Message From Katherine Grainger

Katherine Grainger took time out from her training camp with the Team GB rowing squad to make this video message for the Lives & Times fundraising book for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Having finally won gold at London 2012 at the 4th attempt, she is now preparing for the next Olympics in Rio, 2016.

I met Katherine a couple of months ago at Henley Royal Regatta, where I photographed her for the book, and I was delighted to receive this message. Once I have the book finalised in the next few weeks I should be able to confirm November 2nd as the publication date, and get the links in place where the book can be purchased. I will then be putting out the promotional videos to hopefully increase the book's profile and sales.

The response from people featured in the book so far to sending me a video message has been fantastic, and there are hopefully some more to come.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

60 Postcards Video Message

The latest person to send a video message to help with the book promotion is the lovely Rachael Chadwick. Rachael is the author of the amazing 60 Postcards which tells the story of how she lost her mother to bowel cancer and how she scattered 60 postcards around Paris in tribute on what would have been her mum's 60th birthday. It's a brilliant book if you are looking for something inspiring to read.

I actually met up with Rachael twice to photograph her for the book, and the chapter will describe exactly why this was so, and the experience of our meetings. Throughout the process of doing the book Rachael has been incredibly supportive and has always helped out where possible.

When you have watched the video you may think Rachael is a woman of few words... I can confirm that this is definitely not the case! :)

Monday, 24 August 2015

Matthew Wright Sends Me A Video

As part of the promotion leading up to publication date I am going to be releasing a series of videos from participants in the book who have kindly sent me their messages. I wished that I thought of doing this whilst doing the photography as I am sure most of the people on board would have had no problem doing it at the same time. 

TV presenter and journalist Matthew Wright from The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 has been one of the biggest supporters of the book and has been a great help along the way. He has written a brilliant foreword for the book, and has just sent me his video message which is brilliant. I will be incorporating it into the promotional videos I will be putting together over the coming weeks, but have a look at it now!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Mum's Birthday

Today is my mum's 79th birthday, and the photo is from last night when we went out for a bite to eat to celebrate. It's almost three and half years since mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer, and there is little doubt that without surgery and the excellent care mum has received, she would not be here today celebrating her birthday. She has kept such a positive outlook on life through the last few years, even during times of setbacks. She remains a true inspiration, and let's hope she has many birthdays to celebrate. 

Mum is one of the lucky bowel cancer patients who had the cancer caught early, and also to be able to have surgery to take the tumour out. There is no doubt these days people are more aware about bowel cancer, but there is still a lot of work left to do. Too many people are still dying who might have been saved with an earlier diagnosis. The stigma associated with bowel cancer remains and its signs such as checking your poo for blood!

The book is almost finished, and on course for a November 2nd release. I hope that it raises a reasonable amount of funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity, and as long as it plays a part in helping to raise awareness it will have done its job. I shall continue to promote the book in the lead up to its release, and do my small part in spreading the message about bowel cancer, I make no apologies for that.

My new website is up and running, and the proceeds for every item I sell on it will be donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. The Lives & Times mugs I have had printed to go alongside the book are selling well on the website, but please if you could spare £8 to buy one I'd be really grateful.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Book Launch Party

To read about the fundraising book click here.

A number of people have been asking me about a book launch event. As things stand the publication date is November 2nd, which will allow me to photograph Lorraine Kelly and have the book finished allowing time for a short build up to release day. 

As for a book launch party that is a bit tricky. Doing everything myself means that the budget for such an event is zero. I think that if I was to put a party together involving some of the people in the book it would need to be a pretty decent event, and my gut feeling is that I simply don't have the means to put one together. The other option is to go down the book shop route, and contact some shops and see if they might be interested in hosting the launch?

With 50 or so people having been photographed for the book it would be interesting to see how many would be interested in coming along to a launch party. Obviously a successful event could only do the book good with all the publicity.

I think it's fair to say at the moment that it's a thought in progress. It is one of the disadvantages to being a self publisher and doing everything myself. If anyone reading this has any ideas or can offer any help I would of course be very grateful.

Hopefully this week I am meeting Melinda Farrell, an Australian sports journalist and broadcaster who is currently in England covering The Ashes. The printed fundraising mugs I have produced to go alongside the book are selling well, and can be bought from my brand new website

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Beating Bowel Cancer Charity Mugs

The new Lives & Times mugs are now shipping, and one of the first people to buy one was David Howes who, along with his fiancee Gail,  came on the trek up Mount Snowdon last year which was so successful in raising £2700 for Beating Bowel Cancer. I don't think the mugs will make a journey much further north than this as Dave lives in Cullen which is east of Inverness. Thankfully the mug arrived in one piece going on Royal Mail, and Dave kindly sent me this photo.

I am selling the mugs on my own website They cost £8 including postage and packaging, and all profits are donated to the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The idea behind the mugs is to not only help promote the forthcoming book, but to also help raise awareness about bowel cancer.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Lives & Times Mugs for Beating Bowel Cancer On Sale

I have just received the printed Lives & Times mugs, and they look pretty stylish I think. A massive thank you to my gorgeous niece Anna for modelling for me. The purpose of the mugs is to raise some more funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. Every penny I make will be donated to the charity. The cost of the mug is £8 including postage and packaging. The mug is now available on my brand new fundraising site

The design is based on the forthcoming Lives & Times book cover, and many of the people in the book are included on the two heads. I wonder how many faces you can recognise?

What better way could there be to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea than in one of these marvellous mugs!

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Letter From Prince Harry

To see what the Lives & Times book for Beating Bowel Cancer is all about click here

I was delighted to get a letter back from Prince Harry's office regarding the Lives & Times book. I had sent him a letter a few months ago asking if he would be able to participate in the book. This was a real long shot, but I have learnt during the writing of this book that if you don't ask you don't get... Unfortunately, and quite understandably, Prince Harry is simply unable to do everything he is asked and so was unable to take part. However in the letter he supported the book and it's fundraising idea. More importantly he also sent his best wishes to mum in her recovery from bowel cancer.

I am considering using the letter in some capacity in the book. There have been some great responses and support from people who have been unable to take part, and I think it might be nice to acknowledge these?

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Melinda Farrell A Late Addition To The Book

To see what the Lives & Times book for Beating Bowel Cancer is all about click here

I am really happy to reveal that Australian sports broadcaster and journalist Melinda Farrell has come on board the new book. Unfortunately the photo location won't be quite as glamorous as the Sydney Opera House with cricketing icons Brett Lee and Michael Vaughan, but the current plan is to meet up with Melinda before the Oval 5th Ashes Test in London. She is currently covering The Ashes for ESPN, and I asked her to be in the book, having heard her on BBC Test Match Special during the 3rd test at Edgebaston in Birmingham. 

Melinda recently made headlines during the England versus New Zealand series when she was hit by a cricket ball struck by New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee at Lord's. Hopefully our meeting won't be quite so painful...

With the book now looking likely to be published on November 2nd, a new small window of opportunity has opened for a few last minute additions, so there may be one or two more to come...