Martin Booth

A few days ago I was walking past a bookshop in my home in the south ofFrancewhen I saw a copy of a book called ‘The American’.  I knew it as ‘A Very Private Gentleman’.  It had been written by Martin Booth.

I first met Martin Booth when I was teaching creative writing at an Arts Centre inSomerset.  He brought in a poet who was due to give a reading that evening.  When Martin was asked if he wanted a drink he declined, saying that he never drank when he was writing.  He was flamboyant, eccentric and I could not help but notice him.

A few years later I booked an author to talk to a group of students at the college.  I received a courteous letter and had a pleasant phone conversation.  When he arrived for the talk I realised it was the same man who had acted as chauffer for his friend.

He gave a great talk.  We became friends and he spoke for me at many events over the years.

As time went on we drifted apart.  His writing career took off and I followed it with interest.  I saw him after a ten year gap.  He was very excited about a potential film-making deal inHollywood.

Two years later he died, having struggled long and bravely against cancer.

I always felt that Martin was a proud member of that ancient line of jobbing artist.  This is in no way to diminish him.  He was interested, fascinated by a wide range of subjects.  As a polymath he would turn his pen to anything which appealed to him, producing professional, entertaining and impressive work.  He wrote poetry, novels and biography.

He was a great writer, a great reader and a traveller.  He would, I am sure, have been pleased that I saw his book in a little bookshop in theRiviera.  Have a look at his books.


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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