Troubador Bland Encounter

Released: 01/10/2013

eISBN: 9781783068760

Format: eBook

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Bland Encounter


Take the slap-stick farce of a 1950’s Ealing comedy and update it with a generous portion of risqué humour – this is the laugh-out-loud comedy novel by local author Donald Wightman.

The Bridgnorth writer used his own on-train experiences to create his story. ‘I set out to devise an original plot packed with humour and quirky characters. My own railway industry knowledge provided the ideal platform for this hilarious, read-between-the-lines comedy novel, Bland Encounter. With a heritage railway on my own doorstep, a trip along its meandering route would inevitably fire-up my imagination and help me to create new ways of thickening the plot.’

Woven through with gentle humour as well as outbreaks of pure farce, Bland Encounter features an off-the-wall main character surrounded by a host of amusing supporting roles.

Dave Bland is a man struggling to make a new life after the break up of his marriage. The middle-aged train manager turns to an internet dating site and soon gets embroiled in intrigue. Is the mysterious Galina a high-class hooker, a hit woman or simply a lady looking for love?

When she arrives in the UK, he invites her into his home, but complications arise when Galina’s niece appears on the scene. A sex-trade worker down on her luck, Irina needs a place to stay. With money tight, old habits die hard, so Dave formulates a plan for Irina and her colleagues to target Trainspotters who are due in town for a special steam weekend.

Chaos ensues when members of a rival steam railway try to sabotage the event. The mayhem increases when a train wrecks a nearby Safari Park. Order is eventually restored, but the consequences prove crucial for the people involved.

Publication date for Bland Encounter:
1st October 2013

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Donald Wightman

I grew up in the East Midlands near Leicester and on entering my teenage years I was greatly surprised to discover an interest in all things practical – I blamed it on the Meccano set given to me as a child.

This admission was all my careers officer needed to mark me down for an engineering apprenticeship when I left school. The training though, did prove worthwhile and I subsequently gained employment working in the car industry as a toolmaker – yes, done all those jokes.

But machining bits of metal to exacting dimensions week in, week out, made me yearn for even greater levels of excitement, so on my free weekends I would get together with other like-minded people and become a willing participant in their outdoor nocturnal activities. No, not dogging – the Territorial Army. I found myself enjoying the military life and in the process, received lots of valuable training – like how to blow up a dead sheep, for instance.

After twelve years of strict discipline and being ordered around – no, not the Army, I also got married for the first time – I hankered for a new challenge, so gave up both engineering and the T.A. to become a village shopkeeper. The hours though were long with little time left for recreation.

Working on a few ideas I’d had over the years, I turned to inventing things – no, you wouldn’t have seen me on Dragons’ Den. Alas, fame, fortune and marital harmony proved increasingly elusive and I found myself having to start all over again.

This is how I came to embark on a new career in the railway industry. And after only four years of service I was deemed fit to drive the company’s trains – yes, I was surprised too. It was during my long weekends at home that I started writing short sketches; having progressed from the humorous introductions I’d written during the time I worked as a toastmaster. (Did I mention that before?) The scribbling work grew until thoughts turned to putting some of my novel wit into – well, a witty novel. That was over six years ago now – creative juices circulate rather slowly around the Wightman brain, I’m afraid. The result of all this being my funny, humorous, bawdy, laugh-out-loud, witty first novel, ‘Bland Encounter’!

So, having now mentioned everything of importance – sorry, my current wife has just reminded me of the fact that I do have a wife – currently, and a lovely woman she is too. So that’s definitely the lot.

The author

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