Michael’s Magic Motor Car


Ray Wooster appreciation

Ray Wooster

Ray Wooster is another of TSL’s early authors, also with a link to Harrow Writers’ Circle of which he was President when we met. Ray is also one of our authors who never typed his own stories, had a computer or engaged with social media. Ray has a very supportive family who helped with the typing and getting his texts to me.

Ray, at the time of writing this appreciation has dementia, but before this I could always rely on his quirky take on life cheering up my day. With his first royalty payment (he dealt with cheques), he gleefully told me he bought a Jaguar car – a Dinkie toy!

Ray was encouraged by his family to write his many stories down. He was a great story teller. This culminated in his trilogy since put into one book called A Boy’s War Journal. It’s essentially a what if Germany invaded London during WW2. Ray uses this scenario to set many of his own experiences of growing up in London during and after the war. Frustratingly, Ray is one of those authors who do not see a need for multiple edits of a text, not surprisingly given his school background. This put a fair bit of pressure on the editing process and although the book remains unpolished, it is a good ripping yarn – as told by Ray.
For many years, it was also one of TSL’s best sellers… Ray had a knack of getting people to buy his book without resorting to social media but he would never divulge his secret! Feedback on the book has generally been positive.

Ray’s next most popular books have been the short memoir series covering his life in the 30s and 40s, And the Baby Came Too, followed by Australia OAP Gap Year.

Less successful only in terms of sales but another good read is his Aunt Jane. Ray conceived the idea of Commuter books which we trialled – shortish stories to read on the bus or tube… he did his research first to work out demand etc, but the people he consulted, similar to himself do not purchase books in the modern way… I do recommend Aunt Jane.

Another venture was The Miller’s Boy, we ended up changing the title from Human Bondage (that’s still the title of the ebook though) as modern readers didn’t quite get the different meaning of the word ‘bondage’ – Ray’s story is historical fiction, telling the tale of a family sold into bondage to repay a debt. Another story I enjoyed reading.

Finally, there’s Michael’s Magic Motor Car – a children’s book of adventure. Another bit of fun – and a grandad features too…

If you’re after beautiful writing and prose, Ray is not the author for you. But if you’re after a good old story, well told about life in the early to mid-twentieth century, give Ray a chance.


What’s in a name?

What’s in a Name?
A name gives identity. While for some it can evoke a neutral feeling, for others a name can instil a huge fear or dread, yet for others it can bring a sense of calm. The following books, all published by TSL have a name in the title – all are quite different in their feel and tale.

Michael’s Magic Motor Car by Ray Wooster – an A4 size children’s story
Leo, the Lion Whisperer by Mavis Patcher – a children’s adventure in Africa
George and Flora by Rachel Haywood – a series for children of adventures by two cats, George and Flora. All are written and illustrated by Rachel.
Merlyn’s Memoirs – an English Springer Spaniel’s life in South Africa
Duke’s Heartbreak and other poems by Beatrice Holloway – as it says, a collection of poetry
Lucifer’s Child by Gideon Masters – an esoteric dystopian suspense adventure. The first of a trilogy and definitely not for the feint-hearted or under 18s.

Going through my library of books, I noticed that few, other than biographies, actually have a name included in the title. Is this because authors fear readers not buying a book because of possible connotations?
Some others I found which have names in the title include:

Prester John – John Buchan (African mythology adventure)
Marthe Quest – Doris Lessing (series set in Rhodesia in the 1930s)
What Abigail did that Summer – Ben Aaronovitch (A Rivers of London mystery)
John Doe – Tess Gerritsen (murder mystery)

Feel free to share book titles you know of which contain names in the title.