Martin on being real and the company we keep (and more)


Please welcome my #BeReal guest today, Martin Baker.


A few weeks ago I was sitting at my favourite table—corner table, right at the back—in my favourite coffee bar and got into conversation with a fellow customer about writing and literature. I learned two interesting things about the city I’ve lived in almost thirty years. First, JRR Tolkien—a literary hero of mine—used to visit his aunt and uncle here. Second, there is something called the Newcastle Literary Salon which meets once a month to share live readings.

I checked the Salon’s Facebook page. The next event was only a couple of weeks away, and the topic was to be physical and mental health. This was perfect timing, given that I’ve recently co-written a book with my best friend Fran Houston to inspire and inform people supporting friends who live with mental illness. I contacted the Salon organiser before I could change…

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