Before Christmas I rather foolishly took on some typing for someone who was advertising in the local papershop window. Foolishly, firstly because I miscalculated the amount of time I had available to do it and secondly because I failed to ascertain in the initial phone call exactly how he'd want it presented.
In my admittedly limited experience, printers do not normally want manuscripts submitted to them printed out in a small rectangle in the middle of a sheet of A4. And authors do not normally ask their typists whether or not they know any young women who may be available to pose for the front cover of their book. For free.
So Harry is looking for someone to type up several collections of uplifting short stories for publication. He seemed a very nice man on our initial, and indeed subsequent, meetings, is very quietly spoken and doesn't appear as if he is going to lunge at one, either brandishing a bread-knife or whilst whipping down his trousers.
However, his stories make it quite clear that he is stark, raving, barking, woofing mad. I can't think of any other way to put it. He is clearly of a spiritual, indeed, spiritualist bent. Which as it's vaguely my bag as well, I've got no issue with per se. But his grammar is terrible, his spelling and writing are awful and the content of the stories is confused and, well, not terribly interesting.
R's mum-in-law, Teresa, has done most of the typing, as I haven't had time ... her initial comment after reading story one, was "I think he seems a bit odd". This is on a par with saying "the Pope prays a bit on Sundays" or "Hitler caused a bit of trouble in Europe during the forties". I've printed him out a draft (with DRAFT written all over it in big letters) and taken it round this morning ... we are now awaiting his corrections so that we can finish with it.
I understand that there is another book to do ... I don't have time, but Teresa is willing to give it go, provided he ponies up for the first one. Fingers crossed. B made the point that it's okay for him to be a barking mad vanity publisher, so long as he pays, and I suppose that I agree.