“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. One of the best, if not the best, movies I’ve ever watched. Think I know it off by heart now I’ve seen it so many times.
Hope. What is hope? The Oxford Dictionary describes one of the elements of hope as “Grounds for believing that something good may happen.” For me, it’s always been about this. I now finally have a release date for my book. It’s only taken me ten years.
“My Life Began At Forty” 1st of May 2017.
The day has finally arrived and I simply hope that people will buy it and it might help folk have a better understanding of the hidden life behind the high walls of the institution of prison. I’ll not say it’s been a long hard battle because it hasn’t. I’ve enjoyed writing and recording the shenanigans of prison life and for me it allowed me expel on to the page anger, frustration, fear, joy and hope. Cathartic is a good word to describe it.
I haven’t written a blog this year for a number of reasons but for the life of me I can’t remember what they are at this particular moment in time. I suppose it’s really been that since my editor Matt Vidler of L.R Price Publications replied to my first tentative email, just before Christmas, my feet haven’t really touched the ground since.
I’ve had some great days and nights out with my fantastic friends who I am literally indebted to for supporting me through this mad stage of my weird and wonderful life. As many of you know I’ve been on the radio a few times and I thought that appearing on the Victoria Derbyshire show with my friend Mick Horn was a defining moment. Not true. It was only the start.
Mick came true on his promise and came to Belfast to have a pint with me. Something we had promised each other way back in HMP Rye Hill in 2008. Our friendship has stood the testament of time, like all true friendships do, but to see this man walking into the arrivals hall at Belfast International Airport blew me away. To see Mick laugh and share stories with Dad, Mum and friends in Belfast bars was simply brilliant. We had more than one pint by the way. Cheers Mick many more to come my friend.
I’d just got my breath back and another friend arrives in Belfast for the first time. My mate Mark from South Africa. Mark was the last person I spoke to on my last night of freedom. I was in a Jacuzzi with two dusky maidens, a bottle of Jack and big fat Cuban cigar. Twenty Four hours later I was lying on the floor, throwing up, in a cell at Gatwick Airport. Again, it was fantastic to hook up again with another true friend.
And, it’s not over yet! I’m off to London tomorrow to hook up with British Convict Criminology, Shadd Maruna and Pete White more friends more laughter amid the serious business of academia. Tomorrow night I’m off to The Cavern in Wimbledon to see one of the best bands on the planet ‘Paddy Goes To Holyhead’ and reunite with my old mate Danny Hynes along with Jim Scanlon, Greg and Danielle from Cape Town and I’m sure we’ll be bumping into many more old friends from way back in the days of The Swan Fulham Road and The Redback in Acton. Saturday, I’m meeting up with Russell and Matt my publishers and cannot wait. I’ll not say what’s happening next week as it hasn’t been announced yet but watch this space.
I’d a funny feeling things would start to come together. The stuff I have lined up for the future? Well let’s just say – it looks like I’m going to be a busy little bee. Red said ” Hope is a dangerous thing my friend, it can kill a man…” for me I’m not buying it, I will never, ever give up on hope, my dreams are coming true.
I’ll leave you with a message from my publishers –
I’m Michael’s publisher. A lot of people are asking about the book and when it is going to be released, how they can buy it and where and we are also getting loads of interest about the crowdfunder page.
First of all let me say that myself and everyone at L.R. Price Publications are massively proud of Michael Irwin and all that he has achieved, his story is inspirational which is why we are publishing it.
Release date 1st May 2017
Thank you to everyone who has pledged so far on crowdfunder.
But why have we used crowdfunder?
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise awareness and publicity of a product before it is launched and to get it launched quickly. And this book needs to be published as soon as possible.
If we raised the funding to publish the book the traditional way with bankers and boardrooms, like we have done in the past. We’d spend more time writing and editing finance agreements then we would on the book.
And this is not just another book. It needs to be published now.
Not only that but we wanted this book to be something special. Which is why if you contribute using the crowd funder page, you can even have your name listed as a contributor to the book.
So when your have your copy in your hands, when you have it on your book shelf and when you see it in your local library or book shop your name will be in the printed acknowledgements / credits in the book. We think that is something really special.
Of course if you just want to contribute to crowd funder page to get the book for cheaper or to save postage costs or to save having to buy the eBook seperateley, thats great! You’re still contributing to this great book.
Really this book is as much a part of its readers as it is of Michael.
So thank you everyone for all of your support and we hope you enjoy reading.