They saved the best until last. Since we republished Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real Warhorse last October, I have fielded literally hundreds of letters, emails, and newspaper, radio and TV interviews. The final one was Channel 4’s programme ‘The Real Warhorse’ on Sunday March 4th. They did us proud.
At a stroke it also justified our decision to reissue my book Galloper Jack whose cover is up here on the website. This whole process has been riddled with the dangers of self indulgence but I hope the success of Warrior will prove there is a public appetite too. Let’s hope you will agree with what I wrote as a preface to this fresh edition of Galloper Jack:
“In reaction to the huge interest in Steven Spielberg’s film, War Horse, we published Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse in September 2011. That was a reintroduction of a book my grandfather wrote about his horse Warrior back in 1934. The marvellously gratifying reaction to it has led us to re-issue this volume which I wrote in 2003 as an exploration of a world that is gone. My grandfather had an extraordinary horse. When you read this you will see that he was an even more extraordinary man.”
Finally if you ever need proof of the power of TV, look at the reaction to the 8pm screening of The Real War Horse on Channel 4, March 4th. On Amazon before the programme that Sunday night, Warrior was 500+. By 4pm on the Monday, it was No 6, its highest ever position. Even more astonishing, on Sunday night the Amazon position for Galloper Jack which is not officially published until next week was a perhaps understandably lowly 520,000 on the sales chart. By 4 pm it was up to 165. How long until the top ten?
To be serious, I do think Galloper Jack is a thrilling, if sometimes sad, and at almost all times “you could not make this up” type of story. When it originally came out, the reviews were very kind but it was hard to make the wider audience aware of it. Now War Horse and Warrior have given it a second chance. Let’s hope it can take it.