Famous author Derek Wilson visited Crewkerne & District U3A at their May meeting, held in the Henhayes Community Centre. Derek Wilson has published more than 70 fiction and non-fiction books over the past 50 years. He specialises in the Tudor period and is well known for his Thomas Treviot series of Tudor crime thrillers, based on real life mysteries from the archives. Mr Wilson is also a regular presenter on TV and radio.
In his talk to Crewkerne U3A members at their monthly meeting, he reminisced on the changes that have taken place in the literary profession during his time as a writer. One of the most important changes was the decision to drop the Net Book Agreement in the 1990s, which set the price at which books were sold to the public. This allowed large bookshop chains and supermarkets to sell books at heavily discounted prices. Mr Wilson also spoke about the continual pressure on public finances that has resulted in the closure of many public libraries and the formation of existing book publishers into larger and fewer conglomerates. However, a recent trend has seen a decline in the sales of e-books with an increased demand for printed books.
Derek Wilson had some encouraging words of advice for anyone wanting to become an author. “Yes, it is becoming harder to become recognised as a writer but it is easier now to publish a book. If you want to be a writer, you can do it,” he said. Derek’s favourite subjects at school were English and history and he went on to study history and theology at Peterhouse, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. His latest book ‘Superstition and Science’ will be published at the end of May. It covers the three centuries from 1450 -1750 and the huge developments that took place in the fields of religion, philosophy and science.