Written by Dr Roy Mclarty (NBS Associate Tutor), speaking about semi-retirement and his new novel:
“It creeps up on us all. To some it’s very welcome, for others it’s a sign that grandfather time is working his thing – but for me it was a really smooth transition.
What am I talking about? Well it’s nothing really, it’s only retirement (or to be more correct semi-retirement). About 650,000 people retire each year in the UK, so I’m not alone. When I went along to the pre-retirement bash which UEA laid on I realised the impact, even in our renowned university; there were a few dozen present. But that wasn’t the greatest scare. It was the question fired at the audience… write down the age you will be when you die!
Well, you could have heard a pin drop. One very senior person — from Estates I think — refused point blank to answer. Another from administration saw an echo from her mother who died only a year after retirement. I of course, being made of good Scottish farming stock, looked forward – up to 30 years more I thought.
And so the process began. In the intervening four years, I worked full-time for 18 months and then continued as Director of the Executive MBA course for another two. Currently, I’m still teaching MBA students in the Business School.
Boston University didn’t miss a trick either. I had run seminars for them over the years – they even made me an Emeritus Professor – so I had to return the honour. I’ve been teaching three times a year leading their international management course – fascinating students but huge egos!
But there’s another side I must tell you about – writing!
I was well used writing for academic journals with all the ‘knock backs’ this can bring, but was there a more substantial book inside me?
Well, you can be the judge of that question. My first novel appears on the shelves on 31 October 2012. It’s published by Austin & Macauley in their Red Arrow range.
What’s it about? Is it salacious? Can it grab the reader’s attention – and of course, more importantly, will it sell? The title gives a hint – Snake in the City – but even this was a discontenting process. I mulled over options, debated them with others, including the publisher’s literary agent and must have rejected about 50 in the process. Snake in the City appeared to hold out the appropriate degree of menace, intrigue with novelty and accordingly appears on the shelves. By the way, it’s also available from Amazon.
It’s been a considerable learning process. Publishers have an amazing number of departments, all with studious interns beavering away. Getting the cover agreed was a hoot, showing loads of money on a background of the City of London. I had to have my picture taken, noting my ‘retirement’ – my editor said she could send it to the Lonely Hearts Club, but I had to disagree that they’re not that lonely.
Yes, it’s been quite a busy time! What with visits to Prague with MBA students, signing off yet another academic article, producing a set of five discs on entrepreneurship and teaching students in Norwich and London, I’ve found there is little time for retirement. Moreover, I’m putting everything I know into another literary work. Hopefully, it won’t be a short story!”
Roy’s new novel, ‘Snake in the City’ can be found and pre-ordered from Amazon via this link. Publication date is the 31st October 2012.