Letters in Japanese

I receive letters and emails about my books from all over the world and in many different languages. Unless they are in English I am sorry but i have to resort to Google Translate. I always get the gist but sometimes the translations are so wonderful the words just have to be shared. This is one example from a reader in Japan. Originally in Japanese (a language I have no chance with) here is the translated letter:

Dear Friend

My good friend the Englishman said you very good writer and write good books. But books only in English.

When are you going to stuff yourself into Japanese?

Any ideas on how i might reply?

 

 

Blah Blah: In the News

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In a recent radio interview Gerry talked about his new book. Here is an extract from the conversation.

MF   Gerry, your second novel Blah Blah has just been published. It is very different from your first The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove. Did you find it easy to write in two such different styles?

GC   Thank you. It caused me no more problem than writing any novel. I was determined to change all the parameters to test my own skills and capabilities. While George Cove covers a long time span with a large cast, Blah Blah covers only a few weeks with a cast of just two. But more importantly, I wanted it to be an amusing read with a strong sense of fun and humour. Something to read and make you laugh while relaxing on the beach.
MF   But there are still some serious issues addressed.
GC   Of course, but important subjects can still be treated seriously in the context of humour.
MF   Let’s get into some of the controversy. The female lead is called Scunt. That has raised objections.
GC   Just as FCUK had problems. She comes from Scunthorpe and is therefore called Scunt. You are the one reading more into it. But isn’t that the point with all the furore that the book has raised? There are many serious points made in the book. We all have preconceptions and normally we are dishonest with our beliefs. Too easily we jump to dishonest conclusions.
MF   Is that why there is a powerful justification of prostitution?
GC   I am not sure there is any more justification for prostitution than there is for Tommy’s highly misogynistic and very politically incorrect views.
MF   Is that why you have a ‘prepare to be offended’ warning on the back cover?
GC   No, not really but I found that some of the readers in the test marketing were sometimes a little shocked in the early chapters. Eventually they came to really like Tommy.
MF   Did you change anything because of this?
GC   No, of course not. We just added the small warning. I mean Tommy is a middle-aged man who, to the outsider, leads a very, very successful life. Which it is, but it’s also dull and lonely. He has much to say, but no-one listens. He has strong opinions, but no-one cares. He has vibrant dreams, but no-one shares. A sense of humour, but no-one laughs. He wants to be a hero, but he has no-one to save. Instead, he immerses himself in a private world of desire, fantasy and adventure in an attempt to escape from his flat-lining life. Then he meets Scunt, of course. She’s young, feisty and enthralling … and she’s on the run from a violent pimp and the police! She needs help – and Tommy’s there. Finally he gets a chance to become a hero of his own life. And maybe hers. I think there are lots of Tommys living in their dreams. They are polite to women and respect ‑ and maybe even agree with much of the feminist agenda – but in their private thoughts they may not be quite as well behaved. They understand all the issues of political correctness, they understand all the whys, but they are just being men!
MF   But interestingly, I thought that towards the end of the book the warnings should be changed. It’s our own thoughts and prejudices that are being tested.
GC    I agree. At the beginning we are antagonistic towards Tommy and Scunt, but as their story unfolds we are the ones that need the warnings as some of our basic preconceptions start to be tested. I know this is a programme about books and you want me to be serious about them, but I just want to say maybe we are taking this a bit too seriously.  Blah Blah is a good and fun read and won’t tax you unless you really want it to. It’s a book that can be taken on holiday and it will help you relax!
MF     I agree. And with that, thank you, Gerry, for that reminder. Blah Blah is published by Brovary and can now be purchased on Amazon for Kindle and Paperback and the normal sites for iBook versions.

Now is the time to support the people of Ukraine

I have been patiently silent on the situation developing in the Ukraine. Now I believe is the time to give my views. There is a great and global danger and we are all involved. 

Much of my novel, The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove  is set in the Ukraine and is about the rise of Ukrainian nationalism in the 1970’s when they were last under Soviet rule and as I watch the plot unfold I see that history is repeating itself.  I have been to the Ukraine and I have many Ukrainian friends. So let me say first up I have a great respect for the Slavic and Russian people and they are the ones that are suffering the most and that suffering is likely to increase.

Let’s get a bit of historical perspective.  In nineteen sixty-four when Brezhnev (incidentally born in the Ukraine) took over from Khrushchev for an 18 year period of control, second only to that on Stalin.   He implemented the ‘Brezhnev Doctrine’.  Basically it meant that he could intervene in any country that was not on the ‘correct’ path of socialism.  So in short, Moscow had Poland, Byelorussia (as it was then known) and Ukraine by the economic balls.  And how did they enforce it?  They did it by shipping Russians into those countries under the pretext of manning the industrial development. Warsaw, Minsk and Kiev were Russian.  Don’t ever believe they aren’t.

So Putin is now re-implementing the ‘Brezhnev Doctrine’ knowing that in the east of Ukraine there are significant numbers of ‘ethnic’ Russians shipped there by Brezhnev; it is in the east of Ukraine that the heavy industry is based.

But that is getting ahead of the story. The initial cause of the unrest in current Ukraine was twofold. First was the scandalous corruption of the ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. If you live in the west you cannot imagine the scale of the political corruption. If you want an example just search the internet for pictures of the mansion he built for himself and his son (also with his finger in the pie).  Secondly was Yanukovych changing allegiance in December from a trade arrangement with the EC back to Russian support. Not proven but probably for personal gain as well as threats from Russian President, Putin.

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Maidan after the fight

The people of Ukraine had had enough and staged their protest in Kiev’s Independence Square (the Maidan) which finally led to the death of nearly 100 Ukrainians – from across the country.

During this period Alexandra was writing to me daily from Kiev and at the height of the problems these are her words written to me, contemporaneously.

Thursday

You know with all these events in Ukraine I do feel so pessimistic.

Yes I am at work but to tell the truth I do not feel like working at all. Yesterday I was watching the news with my parents and we are shocked about the things going on here. More and more people are killed and the President does not want to reach the peace. He was planning to have a meeting with European politicians but I am not sure if that will help.

People all over Ukraine try to come to Kiev to take part in the riots but they cancel most of the trains from other parts of Ukraine. There is so much police in the streets and they block the streets and high ways.

So as you see the situation in Ukraine is very dangerous and all that is left to us is to hope that things will be solved soon. People say that our President has his hands in blood but as you know he does not care and he will not leave the power for any price.

Do you think the President can reach the agreement with the Ukrainian people?

Do you think there is any chance that this situation will be over soon?

Wednesday

There was another fight yesterday and since then 20 people were killed. The President is not going to stop and I guess he does not really care how many people are killed. This is sort of civil war and I am not sure when that is going to be over. The age of people that were killed is 2-40 years old.

Today morning the President and the leaders of opposition were going to meet but at the last moment the President has cancelled that and his demand is that people left the Maidan and went home.

So do you think that will stop soon?

What do you hear in the news about things that are going on in Ukraine?

The situation in Kiev is getting extreme again and more people were killed. I try not to come to the city and today.  I plan to finish my work earlier. My mother and I decided to spend the whole evening in the kitchen.  And we will cook for father tonight.

Thursday

I feel so sorry for those young people that were killed by their own government. I still cannot believe all those things happened in Ukraine and my parents and I are praying for all these things finish soon and coming back to normal life.

Everybody here is in shock about the bad things going on here and we try to support each other.

Today morning my mother and I were in the city and we came to bring products and medicine to the poor people. I still feel like crying. People are hiding in the churches and in the cathedrals that used to be places for sightseeing.

There is a very big risk there will be a Civil war in Ukraine if people separate into two parts. That will be a disaster. In total 78 people were killed for the last 2 days, can you believe this?

Do you think that Ukrainian president will resign soon and that he will stop killing his own folk?

Well Yanukovych did run away and he wasn’t over thrown and the legitimate parliament of Ukraine elected a new Government. That does seem to me be legitimate.

But the Russian’s were influential in the unrest. There are strong rumours, again unsubstantiated, that the snipers that killed so many were in fact Russian military. Putin was already inciting unrest as he saw his opportunity which presumably is to rebuild the Russian Empire and influence lost when Yeltsin took over.

And that is the policy he has followed in the Crimea. Inciting unrest, claiming he is supporting ethnic Russians and annexing part of a country.

Although it is likely and almost probable that if there had been a properly managed referendum, with the option of a no vote, then Crimea might still have voted for greater independence from the centre; but that is not the point.  The actions Putin has taken have ensured that we will never know but worse it has increased the tensions in all the eastern cities.  With troops still massed on Ukraine’s eastern borders there is no guarantee that we have seen the end of the incursions.

So why is this so important and why are the western politicians right in their response?

A world war was started when Hitler invaded Poland and this is potentially is every bit as serious although thankfully the west has so far ruled out any military response in favour of economic actions. We can make many arguments for and against the effectiveness of democracy but one seemingly universally accepted precept is that each citizen has the right to determine their own future – and that is the right Putin is removing from the people of the Ukraine.

That is what we should be working towards.

If Putin was a real world leader he would be working with the EC and the USA to help Ukraine build a real and prosperous society with trade links to both sides.

But we have to be careful with what we hear; it isn’t only Moscow that are experts in misinformation. So while the west is being sanctimonious with its response we should also point out that there are very large oil shale fields in the east of the Ukraine capable of meeting many of Europe’s long term needs. Maybe both sides are taking a longer energy economic perspective?

Similarly not everything in the Ukraine is perfect. There are ultra-right wing nationalist groups but they are a minority and they have been at the forefront of much of the unrest.  But they are a very small minority and there are of course similar groups in most western democracies including the UK, France and the USA.

But we deal with them through a democratic process that drowns out their voice and gives them little support; but we don’t have agitators in our midst building them up and giving them cause. At the moment this looks like the start of a new cold war. There is still plenty of room for manoeuvre and compromises but will either side take advantage of the time that is left.

The very large majority of people in Ukraine, Belarus (still headed by a dictator of the old Russian style) and even Russia are fine people struggling for a good life.  They are being let down by the political classes.

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Ukrainian support is evident in Sofia

We need to be concerned and we need to support the people of the Ukraine. We need to support western governments with their economic sanctions. Russia may retaliate with oil price rises but they also need the revenue. It is difficult to guess which way that will pan out. But we can not just sit back and watch disinterestedly.

My once very best friend, Sviatlana is from Belarus and my current love, Alexandra is Ukrainian. I like Slavic people a great deal. I commemorate each year the enormous sacrifices they made during the Second World War when their casualties were almost 20 times that of the Allies.  I have great respect for them.

We should all show solidarity with their cause. Now is not the time to let them down.

FINALIST – Amazon Breakthrough Novel of 2014

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The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove, my first novel, has been shortlisted into the final 300 of the ‘Amazon Breakthrough Novel of 2014′ in the general fiction category.

The competition runs through the year and lets see how far it gets!!

If you are trying to get a perspective on the current events in the Ukraine this is the book you need to read.  ‘The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove’ tells the story of the struggle of Ukrainian nationalists in the 1970′s against Soviet hegemony. We never seem to learn the lessons of the past.

“This is a gripping novel of intrigue, power and complex relationships, showing the havoc caused when the State and the powerful manipulate innocent young lives to achieve their own goals—even when it comes to acts against humanity.”

“This poignant story tackles important issues about destiny, complicity and personal identity and responsibility.”

“When fate deals you a hand better than you could possibly imagine, should you trust it unquestioningly? If you do, will fate then find a way to claim back the fortunes it has bestowed on you?”

It is available to be purchased on Amazon as both a paper back and eBook.

Ukraine and its problems; an historical perspective

The current unrest in Kiev has an historical perspective.

Here is an extract from my novel The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove

‘It starts in the ninth century when two Byzantine brothers from Thessaloniki started a Christian campaign in the Slavic countries. There had been so many changes and the Ukrainians in particular had been subjected to so many different rulers that they always strove for an independence of sorts. It is strong in their character; it is part of their make-up. Their culture has always been at risk.

In December 1845, a certain Mykola Kostomarov founded a secret society with some Christian principles of freedom at its core to free the Slavic countries. So, going back in history, it was right, he thought, that their group should be called after those two monks who nine centuries earlier had similar objectives. So they called themselves the Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius, or in Ukrainian Kirillo-Mefodievskogo brat stvo.

Unfortunately, the authorities of the day weren’t overly impressed and most of the members – around a hundred of them probably – were arrested a couple of years after its formation. But while they were together, they talked of a federation of free Slavic people, although not so free as we might today, because they saw Kiev as the centre of all Slavic nations and not just Ukraine. Well, it’s all gone and it is really just a passing footnote in history. Except that we believe there are a number of intellectuals on the Ukraine, Byelorussia and Polish axis that feel the same today as the Brotherhood did over a century ago.”

 

I hope that soon peace returns to Ukraine and they have a true democratic opportunity to express their views. We wish them peace and a free future.

 

The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove: Press Release

Brovary are happy to announce the publication of Gerry Cryer’s novel The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove.  Available in Paperback (£8.99) at bookshops and Amazon it is also available as an eBook (£2.99) or from sales@gerrycryer.com

Vis_1981lowsqOne day three years ago, Gerry Cryer, 62, then a successful international businessman woke, decided enough was enough and without preparation, plan or money stepped away totally from a commercial world to become a novelist.  From a luxury life in Dubai to novelist living in a single room in Surrey he has powerful and entertaining stories to tell.  The Masterful Manipulation of George Cove, his first novel is now published.  His next novel, Blah Blah, will be published in March.

“This is a gripping novel of intrigue, power and complex relationships, showing the havoc caused when the State and the powerful manipulate innocent young lives to achieve their own goals—even when it comes to acts against humanity.”

“This poignant story tackles important issues about destiny, complicity and personal identity and responsibility.”

“When fate deals you a hand better than you could possibly imagine, should you trust it unquestioningly? If you do, will fate then find a way to claim back the fortunes it has bestowed on you?” 


Was the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl a deliberate act of sabotage sponsored by the UK? 
Just how complicit were the British in the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl?

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How would you react when you are told that your whole life has been manipulated and orchestrated by another and you have been instrumental in promoting and sponsoring Ukrainian nationalists to sabotage Chernobyl? Once Professor Aleksandra Ponomarenko had been George Cove’s tutor at Oxford but today, twenty years since they last met, she is telling him a life story – his own.

How to buyHe knew already that one of the greatest human tragedies of the twentieth century, the nuclear incident at Chernobyl in 1986, was deliberate sabotage, but Aleksandra reveals that not only was his role pivotal in the catastrophe, but everything else that mattered in his life – his education, his job, where he lived, how he lived, who he fell in love with, and who he lost – was orchestrated by the unseen hand of Bill Familiant.