More Thrills than Skills – A Half-life in Journalism, Part 71

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More Thrills than Skills: A Half-life in Journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

Publication of the book in America brought me the opportunity for my first ever US promotion tour as an author. I’d always fancied it as a junket since reading Gordon Williams’ brilliant book, Walk, Don’t Walk. Scots author Williams is probably best known as the writer of Straw Dogs, in turn best known as a violent 1971 movie with some rough sex involving the delectable Susan George, who is, cinematically, married to a young, effete Dustin Hoffman.

Walk Don’t Walk is, in my view, a much better book, which deals hilariously with the traumas and disappointments of an author on what he regards as a glamour trail which turns into a catalogue of everyday bitter disappointment.

I turned up in the States full of expectation. The first signs were inauspicious. It was raining stair-rods at Washington’s Dulles Airport. Ever the seasoned traveller – hand baggage only – I directed the cab driver to the Falls Quality Inn Executive Hotel, as instructed by my publisher.