And these are my books…..

When I say “These are my Books” I mean they are things I have written – but the big caveat is that as of today, they have NOT been published (and in one, maybe two cases, still works in progress). One of my targets for this year (2024) is to get at least one of ’em off the blocks and into the public domain. Right now, that probably means self-publishing via Amazon-Kindle Books… but I’m open to alternative proposals. So – if anyone out there in Vivaldi World works in publishing (either directly for a publisher or for an literary agent), or knows someone who is, and is prepared to consider taking a chance on an unpublished author – well, here I am. Check out my Contact page and reach out!

THE MATCH is a novel about sex, booze and football. It’s set in 1973, in a small English town where its two football teams meet on the final day of the soccer season with both teams potential winners of their league championship. The book follows the exploits of a group of players from one of the teams, their wives and girlfriends, from bedrooms to bars, to the clubhouse and the pitch, on the day their season reaches its tumultuous conclusion amidst a welter of violence and passion. And some decent football too.

SOME STORIES does what it says on the tin: it’s a collection of short stories, most with a supernatural element – not monsters or ghosts (perhaps…), no blood and gore (well, not a lot…) but with things beyond the normal. They are about life, too, the things we humans do to fill our days and nights, the problems we face and the fears we challenge. And the solutions we find, likely and unlikely, to solve them.

LIVING: A MEMOIR is the story of an ordinary man living an ordinary life in extraordinary times. A life begun in a Europe devastated by World War 2, where food rationing is still in force, and refugees are still trying to find homes and settle in new countries. A life that embraces extraordinary advances in technology, in medicine, in education and work. A journey of discovery, both of self and of the changing world we live in. It’s about me: where I came from and how I got here, and how my outlook and beliefs have been changed and challenged by the world we live in.

Please watch this space for progress reports and publication information in due course!


The following is a brief extract from “Living – A Memoir”. It’s the first section of the book, self explanatory. The initial historical factoids come from Wikipedia, with thanks.


Apparently, the day (a Wednesday) was quite warm, at least in Kent – temperatures around 21C (or in old money about 70F). Not bad for a late March day after a quite harsh winter.

But, at least historically, it was a quiet one. No-one famous died. Robert Fox, who later became a well-respected theatre producer, was born the younger brother of the more famous actors James and Edward.

In Pinner, Middlesex, young Reg Dwight celebrated his sixth birthday in a semi-detached council house, possibly by having a little tinkle on the ivories – he had been playing the piano for three years, and was a year away from starting proper piano lessons. In later years, he found fame, fortune and much else as Elton John. And in so doing provided much of the soundtrack to my own life.

Across the pond, in the Detroit suburb of New Bethel, Aretha Franklin turned 11. It was probably a muted affair, as her mother had died a year earlier. By this time she was already singing regularly at the local Baptist church founded by her father, and perhaps considering the musical career that would make her one of the best and most popular soul singers in the world – a career that spanned more than 60 years until her death from cancer in August 2018.

If you look at any of several historical web-sites, March 25 is shown as being the religious festival of Lady Day (amongst several others), and as Freedom Day for Belarus. Not Freedom from the now fragmented USSR, but celebrating the creation in 1918 of the Belarusian People’s Republic by the occupying Germans (the First World War was still raging). These days, under hard-line butcher, friend of Vladimir Putin and unapologetic Communist President Aleksandr Lukashenko, the day is only sparingly celebrated, on safety grounds.

It’s also (it says here…) International Day of the Unborn Child, Mother’s Day in Slovenia, Struggle for Human Rights Day in Slovakia, and the wonderful sounding Waffle Day in Sweden. And it’s Tolkien Reading Day, launched in 2003 to celebrate and encourage the works of the good Professor, and of course (as anyone who has read his masterwork The Lord of the Rings will know) the day that Frodo’s Quest succeeded, the One Ring ended up in the fires of Mount Doom along with Gollum, and Sauron fell. Hurrah.

Beyond that, in years gone by, Venice had been founded in 421; Robert the Bruce became King of Scotland in 1306; Christian Huygens discovered Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, in 1655; the Second Hellenic Republic was proclaimed in Athens in 1924; and a mere four years earlier in 1949, Uncle Joe Stalin’s minions started the forced deportation of over 92,000 people from the Baltic States to Siberia and all points East in another of his brutal collectivisation exercises. Fortunately, his own days were numbered.


None of which will have meant a thing to my poor mum, sweating and cursing to squirt me kicking and squalling into the world in the double-bedroom she slept in with my dad, in a three-bedroomed end-of-terrace council house in Church Street (possibly not unlike Reg Dwight’s home in Pinner, come to think of it). She had turned 38 exactly a week before, considered quite an advanced age to be having kids in the early ‘50s, so I was a bit of a belated birthday present for her. It set a kind of precedent – I have never been good at remembering birthdays, so late presents became par for the course from that day on as far as she and I were concerned.

My mum, once she had recovered from the effort (and probably stopped yelling abuse at whoever was in the vicinity) wanted to name me Gary, after her favourite actor. But her friend, May Crittenden, who I remember as being a typical country lady, short and very stout and prone to wearing aprons (as did mum), told her not to be so daft: I was just like Bob Moss (thus mispronouncing the name of my maternal grandad – who I never knew) – so Robert it was. With Ernest as my middle name, honouring dad, whose middle name was also Ernest.

So: Robert Ernest Cooper. Me.

I’m happy with that.