Walter Jardine - author, A Wolf in the Belly
I’m not into Facebook, Twitter and all that. I’ve been put off by all the people that have got themselves into trouble for mouthing off without thinking about it first. It’s all too easy to jump in with both feet nowadays. So, as I am prone to doing just that, I think it’s best to limit my opportunities. You can see a typical example of what happens when I get a ‘bee in my bonnet’ about something by clicking here. If you have anything to say about anything on this site, you can contact me at: web@walterjardine.co.uk

Creative Writing

Apart from making up bawdy lyrics to popular songs of my youth, the only creative writing I can recall is a piece I wrote when I was about nine years old. It described a walk in the countryside on a pleasantly warm but humid summer day. It rained, and afterwards everything smelled and felt, fresh and clean. A class mate described my efforts as “Cor, that’s beautiful” – my first literary plaudit! Agents didn’t pick up on it. If I had been a footballer, they would have been all over me at that age. However, I have been a writer for most of my working life, but on technical topics.

Technical Writing

In the IT industry, I began with writing computer programs: first writing applications (now called “apps”) then, later, operating system programs. The main discipline here was just that: discipline! You have to work precisely, within well defined rules. Where creativity is useful, is in deciding on a strategy and designing communications between man (as in “mankind”) and machine.

A New Passion

When I became interested in the struggle that Somerled, a twelfth-century clan leader, had to re-establish his clan on their ancient land in south-west Scotland, I thought that I should be capable of writing a novel that did justice to him and his people. It didn’t take long before it dawned on me that such a project imposes different disciplines and requires additional and different skills from my previous work. What started out as a bit of self-indulgence had become a passion, and I wanted to get it right.

Training

When I moved on to training people to use computer systems, I had to create training programmes which meant writing with a more human touch. The need to grab and maintain the reader’s interest was key. Mixed in with all the above, was the irresistible everyday-life urge to write to papers, magazines or anyone else who might listen to my latest gripe or enthusiasm - and to my surprise, some of them were actually printed.

Family Influences

I had a Scottish mother and an English father. My brother was born in Scotland and spent the first ten years of his life there (he was ten years older than me). Although he spoke with an English accent, he was Scottish with a zeal a football fan would understand. He even had a sgian dubh (pronounced skee-an doo, roughly) tattooed on his leg as a mark of his Scottish-ness. In contrast, I was born, and grew up in England and therefore have always felt English. I think my heritage enabled me to empathise with Somerled who has often been referred to, cynically, as “Somerled the Viking” because his mother was Norse and because there is some evidence of Norse blood in his male ancestry. What was it that the Vikings were famous for? Oh yes, pillage and er… rape. The fact that Somerled’s father and grandfather both had Gaelic names suggests that he was brought up in a Gaelic environment. That, and success in fighting the Norse and re-establishing a Gaelic presence in the west of Scotland, tells me that Somerled felt, and therefore was, a proud Gael (Scot).
This site isn’t really about me, it’s about Somerled and the world he was born into. Just in case some are interested, this page is about me, but all the remaining pages give the background to Somerled’s story: A Wolf in the Belly.

Everyone Needs Help

One thing that I did do right was to join a writing circle. The members of the Thames Valley Writers’ Circle have been a great help in identifying what I needed to know and in acquiring those skills that I lacked. As well as helping me with the novel, the Circle encouraged me to broaden the scope of what I write by tackling short stories and poetry. I knew that I was making progress when one of my stories, Let’s Talk, a short story about early humans, won a prize in a Circle competition.
© Walter Jardine 2018
© Walter Jardine 2018
I’m not into Facebook, Twitter and all that. I’ve been put off by all the people that have got themselves into trouble for mouthing off without thinking about it first. It’s all too easy to jump in with both feet nowadays. So, as I am prone to doing just that, I think it’s best to limit my opportunities. You can see a typical example of what happens when I get a ‘bee in my bonnet’ about something by clicking here. If you have anything to say about anything on this site, you can contact me at: web@walterjardine.co.uk

Creative Writing

Apart from making up bawdy lyrics to popular songs of my youth, the only creative writing I can recall is a piece I wrote when I was about nine years old. It described a walk in the countryside on a pleasantly warm but humid summer day. It rained, and afterwards everything smelled and felt, fresh and clean. A class mate described my efforts as “Cor, that’s beautiful” – my first literary plaudit! Agents didn’t pick up on it. If I had been a footballer, they would have been all over me at that age. However, I have been a writer for most of my working life, but on technical topics.

Technical Writing

In the IT industry, I began with writing computer programs: first writing applications (now called “apps”) then, later, operating system programs. The main discipline here was just that: discipline! You have to work precisely, within well defined rules. Where creativity is useful, is in deciding on a strategy and designing communications between man (as in “mankind”) and machine.

A New Passion

When I became interested in the struggle that Somerled, a twelfth-century clan leader, had to re-establish his clan on their ancient land in south-west Scotland, I thought that I should be capable of writing a novel that did justice to him and his people. It didn’t take long before it dawned on me that such a project imposes different disciplines and requires additional and different skills from my previous work. What started out as a bit of self-indulgence had become a passion, and I wanted to get it right.

Training

When I moved on to training people to use computer systems, I had to create training programmes which meant writing with a more human touch. The need to grab and maintain the reader’s interest was key. Mixed in with all the above, was the irresistible everyday-life urge to write to papers, magazines or anyone else who might listen to my latest gripe or enthusiasm - and to my surprise, some of them were actually printed.

Family Influences

I had a Scottish mother and an English father. My brother was born in Scotland and spent the first ten years of his life there (he was ten years older than me). Although he spoke with an English accent, he was Scottish with a zeal a football fan would understand. He even had a sgian dubh (pronounced skee-an doo, roughly) tattooed on his leg as a mark of his Scottish-ness. In contrast, I was born, and grew up in England and therefore have always felt English. I think my heritage enabled me to empathise with Somerled who has often been referred to, cynically, as “Somerled the Viking” because his mother was Norse and because there is some evidence of Norse blood in his male ancestry. What was it that the Vikings were famous for? Oh yes, pillage and er… rape. The fact that Somerled’s father and grandfather both had Gaelic names suggests that he was brought up in a Gaelic environment. That, and success in fighting the Norse and re-establishing a Gaelic presence in the west of Scotland, tells me that Somerled felt, and therefore was, a proud Gael (Scot).
This site isn’t really about me, it’s about Somerled and the world he was born into. Just in case some are interested, this page is about me, but all the remaining pages give the background to Somerled’s story: A Wolf in the Belly.

Everyone Needs Help

One thing that I did do right was to join a writing circle. The members of the Thames Valley Writers’ Circle have been a great help in identifying what I needed to know and in acquiring those skills that I lacked. As well as helping me with the novel, the Circle encouraged me to broaden the scope of what I write by tackling short stories and poetry. I knew that I was making progress when one of my stories, Let’s Talk, a short story about early humans, won a prize in a Circle competition.

Walter Jardine

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Walter Jardine

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