Graham Writer

Musings of an author.

Serendipity

Leave a comment

video

I’ve been reworking a book called ‘Alternative 3′ my father, who is now 85, first published forty years ago. Not an easy project. For a start there was no digital manuscript. He wrote it on a manual typewriter. Rather than retyping the whole 95,000 words I used the free optical character recognition app. within Microsoft Word – never knew it existed before – to produce a first draft. It was littered with errors. ‘H’s became ‘d’s and where it didn’t recognise a word it either guessed, wrote nonsense or just missed it out. Reminds me of the man who invented predictive text who died last week. His funday is next monkey.

However, I digress. The original book was the basis for a one hour television documentary shown in 1977. The documentary also called Alternative 3 was shown by ITV and explained, in some detail, how the moon landing were a front for a far more ambitious project: Building a colony on Mars, a refuge for world leaders and their chums to escape to because they knew global warming would eventually destroy the planet. The documentary is a bit dated, by today’s standards, but still a professional production. At the time, global warming was almost unheard of. Now, its significance is recognised by most people and dad’s book is very pertinent to today’s problems as the earth’s climate changes. Are the world’s leader planning to escape and leave the rest of us to stew? Who can say!
Alternative 3 had considerable success and was translated into a number of different languages including Japanese. The Japanese, it seems, are particularly fond of conspiracy theories.

I published the reworked book last December and then a strange thing happened. A Facebook friend sent me a link to a film released the previous month called ‘Packing for Mars‘ and, to my surprise, the entire plot was based on Dad’s original book. It even named his book as the original idea.

I contacted Frank Jacob, the film’s producer and explained my father was very much alive and kicking adding that he owned the copyright to his material and we had a most constructive conversation. The two hour feature film is a super production and dad is over the moon (excuse the pun) with it.
Serendipity indeed.
Alternative three 4small

Advertisements

Author: grahamwriter

Hi. I'm Graham Watkins and I have spent the last few years researching welsh legends and myths. It has been a wonderful project and great fun as I explored rugged mountains, mysterious castles, enchanting waterfalls and golden beaches to discover the tales that have been handed down from generation to generation. Wales is a land of mystery and being a Celtic race the Welsh are fantastic story tellers. Earlier in my life, I was a ships engineer and traveled across the world. When I got married I had a choice; return to sea or stay home with my new bride. I stayed and went into sales. In 1989 I started my own company and it prospered. I sold the business in 2003 and, with my wife, ran away to a rambling farmhouse high in the Brecon Beacons. I learnt a lot selling the business and decided to write a book about how I did it. That's how I started writing. Today, I am a writer, hobby farmer and explorer. It's all been great fun and the story isn't over yet. My latest book 'Birth of a Salesman' has just been published and there are more to follow. Watch out for 'Blood and Dragons - The History of Carmarthenshire and the Gower.' My current project 'The Iron Masters', is an historical novel, my first, chronicling the life of Nye Vaughn, a farm boy who becomes the most powerful arms manufacturer in the world. His cannon enabled Nelson to win the Battle of Trafalgar and cleared the field of French infantry at Waterloo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s