Johny Thundersbeard does not procrastinate about writing
Driving home on Sunday, I happened upon the radio station for Vision Australia. I love a good AM station when they veer away from talkback and into radio report land. The Vision Australia station is great as not only do they do traditional book readings, they also do newspaper readings and non-fiction book readings. And Sundays drive home was a doozy.
In a show called “Down Under”, the presenter read from an out-of-print book called “Railroad Dramas” by Mark Tronson and published by IDH Publishing in 1991. Tronson used to be a locomotive engineer in Australia before he joined the clergy and academia. I have a feeling he may have been the driving force behind the publisher as his books have that “self-published” vibe to them. Although perhaps, they were a niche publisher specialising in locomotives and rail history. Anything was possible in the 1990s before the advent of digital distribution.
I have been, ahem, stuck, ahem, on a passage in my horror novel for oh, around 2 years or so. When I say passage, I really mean passages. A steam train features prominently in the first half of the novel, and I have become rather bogged down in researching them and trying to get a natural feel for the workings and the terminology.
This now out-of-print book was the answer to my troubles. Real anecdotes about steam train drivers… driving, and crashing, trains!
Luckily, I had the foresight to switch my phone on and record the reading over the car stereo. It was from this recording that I gleaned the title of the book after I discovered that the Down Under show does not keep records/podcasts of their shows. A google search revealed book and author listed at Amazon with only one copy for sale. A book seller called Global Books that won’t post overseas. Hardly global in that sense. That was the only copy available for purchase on the entirety of the digitial distribution network known collectively as the “internets”. Digital divide more like it.
So, desperate, I tried the online catalogue for the local library network. Yes, they have a copy for loan, and yes, they have more Steam Train books by Mark Tronson! Libraries for the win! Beat that internets, haha, you can’t!
Now, a patient wait for some beautiful borrowed books to roll on around the bend and into my eager arms.