War Torn

Welcome to this new episode of We’d Like A Word in which Paul and Steve chat to author Geoffrey Gudgion about his new novel Draca, and to General Sir Peter Wall – ex head of the British Army and now President of the charity Combat Stress which helps people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Geoff is an ex-Royal Navy veteran who, as you’ll hear, is no stranger to life-changing trauma himself (he’s not averse to the odd explosive prank either!). Draca is his latest novel and it tells the story of Jack, a man haunted by his past, who is rebuilding his life and a boat that belonged to his grandfather and which may have a kind of life of its own …

50% of all proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Combat Stress, a charity that means a great deal to Geoff.

For over a century the charity has been helping former servicemen and women deal with issues like PTSD, anxiety and depression. Today they provide specialist treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues. They also act as advisers to people in other stressful work arenas such as the NHS frontline and police officers.

We also pay a pre-Covid visit to Geoff’s favourite bookshop in Marlow, Buckinghamshire (it’s also one of Paul and Steve’s favourite bookshops too) to have a chat and eat cake.

Combat Stress website is here.

The Marlow Bookshop is here.

Geoff’s website is here.

Buy DRACA here.


We’d Like A Word is available from iTunes, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podcast Radio and wherever else good podcasts are found. Or you can listen to the episodes on their hosting site at Anchor by clicking here.

Working Class Hero

Welcome to another locked-down episode of WE’D LIKE A WORD with Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan and their guest this episode – novelist and screen-writer Dougie Brimson.

Dougie is the author of several novels including The Crew, Billy’s Log, Top Dog, Wings of a Sparrow and his latest – In the Know. He’s also the author of several non-fiction books that mostly centre on the culture of football fans and explore the subject of hooliganism. He’s also a screenwriter with several films to his credit including Green Street (starring Elijah Wood) and Top Dog, directed by actor an ex-Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp.

After 18 years service as an engineering sergeant with the RAF – including deployment during the Falklands conflict – Dougie’s literary career began in 1996 when he co-wrote a book exploring the culture of football hooliganism entitled, Everywhere We Go: Behind the Matchday Madness. He has subsequently written a further 14 books in a variety of genres including fiction thriller and fiction comedy.

In 2003 he made the move into screenwriting with the short film It’s a Casual Life, which looked at the world of football violence from the fans’ perspective. His first full-length feature, the Hollywood-funded Green Street won numerous awards including:

  • Narrative Jury Prize-SXSW Film Festival
  • Narrative Feature Audience-SXSW Film Festival
  • Best of Festival–Malibu Film Festival
  • Jury Award (feature)–Malibu Film Festival
  • Official Selection–Tribeca Film Festival

His next feature was an adaptation of his own novel Top Dog in 2014 which won ‘Best Feature’ at the British Independent Film Festival 2014 as well as a string of acting awards.

November 2014 saw the release of We Still Kill The Old Way, a vigilante thriller starring Ian Ogilvy, Chris Ellison, Steven Berkhoff and Lysette Anthony.

On this episode we discuss the differences between writing for books and writing for the screen. We also talk about the difficulties faced by working-class writers who have huge audiences but almost no representation among traditional publishers.

Mentioned on the show:

Kit de Waal’s excellent Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers

Paul McVeigh’s The Good Son

Sabrina Mafouz’s Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen


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