Gomer Days

06th August 2015
July 9th arrived bright and beautiful sunshine. Actually it was cold wet damp and chucking it down but in my mind it was an always will be a sunny day full of smiles and utter delight. I was off to see those wonderful talented guys at Gomer Press in Wales whilst 'Elemental Tangents' was going to be on press for a couple of hours. I was not alone for joining me in this adventure would be a very good friend, Geoff Ward of 'Geoff Ward, Film & Photography" himself a brilliant photographer/film cameraman. I had met Geoff some years earlier through my other books (Briar Ridge Books) he filmed an interview about us for County Channel Tv that had been featured on Radio Shropshire. Geoff and I hit it off immediately with our love of photography and since then have gone on many shoots together and I hope to help Geoff with his book when he finally pushes the start button on it. I wanted a film made of the day as I knew it could be fun to see how everything comes together. Geoff was the only guy I could think of that would capture the emotion and feeling of the day! Not just shoot a doco! You would think old hat for me as I used to run a repro bureau that produced plates for approx. eight presses one of which sheet fed an older model of the one printing 'Elemental Tangents' the others all web printing things like your Tesco Clubcard vouchers, Harrods Credit Card applications, NSPCC Donations and National Trust Memberships, amongst other things. I operated the first of the Creo Platesetters in the UK, the exact model that Gomer use was BETA tested at the company I worked for by me for faults and the like. However I never tire of the magic of it all, the thrill of seeing work come to pass, passing through all stages each and every one vital to the finished product. I guess it is my knowledge and experience not to mention pure sassy cheek that gets me the ability to press pass a job no other company would dream of bothering to do on such a small run, That and Gomer really are bloody marvelous firm that bend over backwards to help in all they do. My attention to detail however is and always will be perfection must be achieved or darn close to it. So I have press passed each and every book I have been involved with. Long may that continue!

We had a wet journey down and only just made it in in time for a coffee at my favourite Buon Appetito cafe in Llandysul before rushing up to the printers. As it was we were a bit early in the end. Typical could of had a breakfast. The cover was run first and it is amazing how fast 1500 sheets of paper are whipped through. It was literally printed in about 30 mins. Geoff was somewhat horrified at the amount they threw away setting up. I hastily explained the paper would be washed, bleached, re pulped and remade as paper. There is hardly any pure wood pulp used in print these days and quality of paper thickness has declined drastically over the years due to this. However we must save forests and use wood wisely.

It had been fun sitting in the library at Gomer going through the books looking at styles and paper choices for a children's book I'm working on 'The Ginger Ninja' with Royston James and to see Geoff change his mind about 7 no wait 8 times on what type of paper and style his book would take shape with. I think we are settled on a beautiful cream art paper now ;).

Then it was in to the factory to sign off the cover which was ready and waiting on press! Once Elemental Tangents cover was printed we had to wait for about half an hour for the plates to be changed on the machine. All electric now no sitting in a squat with alan-keys and rubber gloves fighting to get a plate of the machine in one piece and without covering yourself in ink. It was so quick and clean if you blinked you would miss it. The first sheets of "Elemental Tangents" were printed in under half an hour and set aside to dry. The next batch would then be printed so they backed each other up then the first set back on to reprint the backs. Least I think that was it? See I knew I should have written this all when it was fresh in my mind. Either way by the end of the day the whole book had been printed and I was one very happy bunny. Geoff had been taken pictures all day so I knew we would have some memories on film as well. Came home via Aberaeron, West Wales a meal and of course Sidoli's ice cream and a walk round the very pretty harbour admiring the boats.

VIDEO: Elemental Tangents on press

The following week would find me back down seeing the pages all cut and size and waiting for the covers to be applied. Amazing seeing your book inner pages on one pallet all stacked up

and the covers on another
Then a vast array of metal equipment that trundles into life stitching, glueing, binding, then all of a sudden your finished book is trundling off the end conveyor all done completely finished.

Smelling utterly wonderful of fresh ink and sealer.

The very first book has been put aside for something special and I will keep you posted on that but it is something very close to my heart just need to get together with those involved and sort it all out.

A week after that delivery was taken and then the cd's arrived since then it has a been a whirl of getting books to Stephen for signing and getting them out to various places for reviews and to stock suppliers already dealing with orders!

Elemental Tangents is now officially live as of 1.8.15 and selling via here and in several shops increasing all the time check back for stockists here. We are going to be working on advertising via magazines, press, Radio etc wherever and with whoever we can. If you own a shop that would like to stock it please do get in touch, likewise a magazine, radio or newspaper. Every little helping spread the word would be magical.

Again thanks to Geoff Ward for being there and driving me home when I was to exhausted to do so. A scholar and a gentleman.