I'm the type who has to read everything he lays his eyes on (within reason) and there isn't enough hours in the day for me. When I die, my eulogy will probably lament all the books I wanted to read but never had the time. Saying that - and apart from the fact I've been known to read the ingredients on a tube of toothpaste if nothing else is to hand - I rarely read non-fiction books, preferring instead to immerse myself in the fictional world I also write in. However a book I am compelled to read is SQUADDIE by Steven McLaughlin. It is a true account of a soldiers tale about first his fight to gain admittance into the military (which was finally achieved at the ripe old age of 30 after many ups and downs) and then the three years he spent fighting on our behalf in Iraq and Northern Ireland. I happened to meet Steven at an event in St Annes, Lancashire yesterday, and he kindly gave me a copy of his book to read. I started it on the train home and almost missed my stop, I found it so engaging. It's not just a story of heroics, more about enduring terrible situations and then fighting back and raising above them - it's a heart lifting tale about achieving your aspirations and not letting any of the knocks hold you down. A good metaphorical message for all the writers who have considered giving up on their dreams.
On a second note, I write about an ex-soldier, and it was great to meet a guy who I believe is a true gentleman and someone Joe Hunter would have been proud to fight alongside - as would I.