A fictional memoir of teaching experience is a great success
The Fictionalized Memoirs of Johnny Richardson”Sir… Are you a virgin?is a literary pearl.
The book is a hodgepodge of amusing and eye-opening experiences gleaned from his twelve years as a science teacher at a fictional north Belfast secondary school heavily edited to protect the identities of those involved.
The book chronicles Johnny Richardson sailing close to the wind with his teaching career in class exchanges with students, conversations in the staff room, the accidental firebombing of his students, to the climax, his (fictional) punishment ) beaten by paramilitaries.
Throughout Johnny has maintained a humorous and consistent ironic style, sometimes an irreverent edge that is the hallmark of this excellent first publication that his readers will want to read more.
Speaking just before the launch of “Sir… Are you a virgin?“, Johnny Richardson spoke to Down News and said: “I am delighted to launch my first book.
“It’s been a long journey over the past seven years in writing short stories and plays. Now I have collected them under one cover as a fictional version.
“The different sections focus mainly on my experience in teaching for twelve years since day one. I took a three-year break from my career and went to Kazakhstan and Moscow, hence the references to that geographical area…and to Soviet women’s underwear (where I attempted to buy a gift .)
“I would like to thank everyone who helped me get started in print, especially Pauline McNulty who helped with editing and ‘Frodo’.
Thanks also to my friends Al, Jeff and Nev who helped me control my creative energy and bring characters like Snatters to life. And a special thanks to graphic designer Jonathan Temples ([email protected]) for book cover design.
“A few years ago I attended Words for Castle Ward creative writing sessions and Olive Broderick gave me great encouragement and helped me develop a more mature approach to poetry wringing. I have included two pieces of poetry in the memoirs.
Johnny added: ‘The book has only been out for two weeks but so far it has been well received…my fellow teachers enjoy it and recognize the warts and all approach I have taken to describing the coal education. .
“Some time ago I attended sessions at Words for Castle Ward which helped me become an author. I managed to develop my own writing voice in ‘memoirs’ and that has been great fun.
“I still have a lot of material that I didn’t use in the book, and you never know, you might even see a second one emerge over time.
“Essentially, this book is for people who never go to church and who never even read books. It’s an attempt to reach out to them and talk about teaching as it really is… as I see it, albeit in the fictionalized version necessary for privacy reasons.
“I know work colleagues who pass the book on to their spouses and it seems to raise a few eyebrows in a pleasant way about the teaching profession.”
There might even be a move now to see Johnny transferred from the science department to the English department!
Check out Johnny Richardson on Facebook at “Sir… Are you a virgin?”
You can purchase a copy on Amazon at: Johnny Richardson
© Jim Masson.