The tale of a rascal raven in Ramsgate has been published by Thanet writer Peter Erlam.
The 69-year-old, who was a Kent Messenger news editor for 6 years, says the move to Ramsgate three years ago inspired him to pen children’s tale Ravi the Brainy Raven.
The dad-of-two said: “When my wife passed away in 2008 and my girls had moved I decided to move to Whitstable. I found moving to the coast after living in a town (Maidstone) got the creative juices going. I thought there was a book in me somewhere.
“Then I moved to Ramsgate and that really made me focus. There’s something about Ramsgate, it has stories in its bones and those bones just need fleshing out with interesting fictional character such as Ravi.”
The tale is based on brainy raven Ravi who gets himself expelled from the Tower of London for bad behaviour and ends up in Ramsgate. He then befriends two young sisters and when their schoolfriend disappears after a fall down a cliff, it is Ravi who emerges as the hero. After his shameful dismissal from the royal tower, it is redemption time for the rascal raven.
Peter said: “Being a bird he can, of course, fly and see places in a way no human can and gives a narrative for young readers to use their imagination.”
The book was a lockdown project and the pandemic features as Ravi and the crows are puzzled by the change in people’s behaviour.
The tale also features a wicker basket of gifts for the two sisters which is born of a real-life family tradition.
Peter said: “’Basket night; is a much-loved family tradition that goes back to my daughters’ childhood days. We had a four-storey house and the girls were in the attic room which they loved.
“On Friday nights we decided we would have a bit of peace and quiet so we would ring a bell and put out a little blue basket that they had to come down and get and take it back upstairs. Then they would stay upstairs for the rest of the night! It was a wicker basket which we flled with sweets.”
The book features numerous Ramsgate locations and references to changing covid restrictions as well as lovely illustrations by Jo Knowles.
It is hoped the book will be stocked by Ramsgate’s Moon Lane book shop in Addington Street and Peter says he would like a percentage of the sales money to go towards the campaign to finish the town’s George IV statue which was created by sculptor Dominic Grant who passed away last year.
Peter added: “I’m now working on the sequel to Ravi and this will be based in Ramsgate too, I really want to shine a spotlight on the town and its history.”
Oh dear. I wish him well, but it looks as though he is with a vanity publisher. Authors do not pay out money – publishers pay them money…
I agree. Although I’ve privately published a couple of photo books, the majority of mine (8 books) are via Amazon’s KDP “print on demand” service. This costs me zero in upfront costs, the quality is excellent (far better than a few years ago), and they’re available for delivery within a couple of days all over the world. Additionally, I can see daily figures of sales, and royalty payments are monthly as opposed to 6 or 12 months with traditional publishers. Anyway, I wish Peter well. Thanet should be proud of having quite a few talented authors.
How much does Amazon keep out of the price for their services? It sounds like a good deal, if itś less than 25%! Would it work for selling music, or do they have a different platform for that? Cheers, Aidan.
Re books, the rates are variable depending on location and price (but obviously Amazon need to cover printing costs as well as make a little profit). I’ve no idea re music.
Tried to order a Copy using Paypal, but it directs me to Credit Card, and that is like trying to get in touch with the HMRS for a rebate. What a Parlava! I gave up, it´s got to be easier than that to buy a Book.
Wherever a book is published, ALL authors need to ensure that their books are also available on Amazon. It’s the world’s largest bookshop, and it is open 24/7. This pandemic is an ongoing nightmare, but it has been very good for authors (people tend to read more during lockdowns and “working” from home).