Monday, March 20, 2023

#HistoricalFiction author Tim Walker shares his inspiration for his heartwarming stories collection based on local legends, Thames Valley Tales – #BookSpotlight #CoffeePotBookClub @timwalker1666 @cathiedunn

Thames Valley Tales

by Tim Walker

2nd Edition & Audiobook Release Day Spotlight 

Publication Date: March 20th, 2023
Publisher: Independently published
Pages: 155
Genre: Anthology / Short Story Collection
Audiobook narrated by Richard James

Thames Valley Tales is a light-hearted yet thought-provoking collection of nine stories by Tim Walker.

These tales are based on the author’s experience of living in Thames Valley towns, and combine contemporary themes with the rich history and legends associated with an area stretching from the heart of rural England to London.

The collection includes The Goldfish Bowl, in which an unlikely friendship is struck between a pop star and an arms dealer in Goring-on-Thames; Maidenhead Thicket, where the ghost of legendary highwayman, Dick Turpin surprises a Council surveyor; The White Horse intrigue surrounding the dating of the famous chalk carving on the Berkshire Downs; Murder at Henley Regatta, a beguiling whodunit, and The Colnbrook Caper, a pacey crime thriller. Thames Valley Tales starts with The Grey Lady, a ghost story from the English Civil War, and features The Merry Women of Windsor in a whimsical updating of Shakespeare’s classic play. The Author’s Note explains the context and reasoning behind each story.

Thames Valley Tales oscillates from light-hearted to dark historical and at times humorous stories ideally suited to bedtime or holiday reading that will amuse, delight and, hopefully, inform the reader about the rich history of the Thames Valley as it winds 215 miles from the Gloucestershire countryside, past many towns and villages to London and out to the North Sea. The book also has a factual chapter and map of the Thames Valley showing the towns through which the 184-mile Thames Path passes. It’s a walk-through history and the natural beauty of England that will inspire and captivate.

Thames Valley Tales, second edition, is available in audiobook, Kindle e-book and paperback from Amazon worldwide, and can also be found on Kindle Unlimited.

Thames Valley Tales (second edition) Book and Audiobook Launch

Audiobook narrated and produced by Richard James

When considering which of my books would make a suitable subject for my first foray into audio, I decided on my Thames Valley short stories, owing to the many comments I’ve received along the lines that the stories have a strong visual quality. Visual in audio? How does that work? 

Well, I believe the stories, properly told and with appropriate effects, will conjure up visual images of the action in the mind of the audiobook listener. Let’s see what comments come back in reviews! I raided my first edition of 15 Thames Valley Tales, selecting eight that could do with a re-write, and adding a newer story, The Goldfish Bowl, to make a set of nine. Two of the stories are quite long, at 40-ish minutes, with the others nearer 30 minutes on audio, giving a running time of 2 hrs 40 mins. I have included a separate Author’s Note, in which I outline the background to each story and the history or legends invoked.

To do the project justice, I hired the voice and production talents of author/actor, Richard James. I attended the launch of Richard’s Victorian crime thriller, The Head in the Ice, in 2019 (see picture) and have stayed in touch since. He seemed the obvious starting point, and I was delighted when he agreed to take on narrating and producing my audiobook. He has added value by helping to tighten up on dialogue and has introduced genre-appropriate music and sound effects. I found it true that written dialogue has a tendency to be a bit more formal than spoken dialogue – something for authors to consider when adapting books to audio.

I hope you enjoy my audiobook and please share your impressions in reviews.

Tim Walker

Tim Walker is an independent author living near Windsor in the UK. He grew up in Liverpool where he began his working life as a trainee reporter on a local newspaper. After graduating, he moved to London where he worked in the newspaper publishing industry for ten years before relocating to Zambia where, following a period of voluntary work with VSO, he set up his own marketing and publishing business. He returned to the UK in 2009.

His creative writing journey began in earnest in 2014, as a therapeutic activity whilst recovering from cancer treatment. He began writing an historical fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages, inspired by a visit to the site of a former Roman town. The series connects the end of Roman Britain to elements of the Arthurian legend and is inspired by historical source material, presenting an imagined history of Britain in the fifth and early sixth centuries. 

Book one is Abandoned (second edition 2018); followed by Ambrosius: Last of the Romans (2017) and Uther’s Destiny (2018). The last two books in the series, Arthur Dux Bellorum (2019) and Arthur Rex Brittonum (2020) cover the life of an imaged historical King Arthur, and are both Coffee Pot Book Club recommended reads.

In 2021 he published a dual timeline historical novel, Guardians at the Wall. This was inspired by visits to Vindolanda and Corbridge at Hadrian’s Wall, and concerns the efforts of archaeologists to uncover evidence and build a narrative of the life of a Roman centurion in second century Britannia… and find his missing payroll chest.

Tim has also written three books of short stories, Thames Valley Tales (2015, second edition 2023), Postcards from London (2017) and Perverse (2020); a dystopian thriller, Devil Gate Dawn (2016); and three children’s books, co-authored with his daughter, Cathy – The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017), Charly & the Superheroes (2018) and Charly in Space (2020).

He plans to re-work some stories in Postcards from London into London Tales, with the addition of new stories, for publication in 2024 in audiobook, Kindle and paperback.

Connect with Tim:

Audiobook Narrator: Richard James

Thames Valley Tales audiobook is narrated and produced by actor, author and playwright Richard James who has been appearing on stage and screen for over thirty years. 

Most recently, he played a guest role in Miss Scarlet & The Duke for PBS and Alibi Films and was nominated for 'Best Supporting Performance' at the Off West End Awards for his roles in A Sherlock Carol at the Marylebone Theatre.

Richard is known to Coffee Pot Book Clubbers as the author of the Victorian crime series, Bowman of the Yard. Picture shows Tim with Richard (l) at the 2019 launch of book one in his series, The Head in the Ice.

Connect with Richard:


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