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Zander Wedderburn

Zander Wedderburn

Zander Wedderburn. 1934-2017.

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the founder of Fledgling Press – Zander Wedderburn – died yesterday morning, 23 Feb 2017, peacefully at home with his family.

He will be missed greatly by all who knew him.

Press Release: Times Witnesses


Women’s voices from the Holocaust

Times Witnesses

Published by Fledgling Press to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2017

Time’s Witnesses is the history and words of ten Jewish women who survived the Nazi concentration and extermination camps during World War Two.

These are women who lived through an unimaginable time, yet are still prepared to remember, so that the world does not forget.

The women tell of a time of degradation, deprivation, starvation and hopelessness, but each one, with incredible strength of spirit survived and extraordinarily share a common desire for resolution and a hope that by sharing their experiences these horrific moments in history will never be repeated.

Time’s Witnesses is not a comfortable book to read, but one that needs to be experienced if we are to learn.

Judith Meisel tells of the mother of the baby that a SS soldier dashed to the ground and killed. The mother afterwards refused to open one of her hands—she was clenching something she did not want to show. When the soldiers finally got the mother to open her hand, they saw a baby’s shoe. The SS soldier ordered her to hand it over. When the mother refused, she was shot. This mother is one of the heroes of the Holocaust: a hero with moral integrity who not only showed great love of her child but also impressive courage.

This is just one example of the horrors these women encountered, making their hope and warnings against hatred, even more remarkable.

Editor Information
Jakob Lothe (b.1950) is Professor of English Literature at the University of Oslo. His previous publications include Time’s Witnesses: Narratives from Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen (co-edited with Anette Storeide,2006) and After Testimony: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Narrative for the Future (co-edited with Susan Rubin Suleiman and James Phelan, 2012). He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters and the leader of the Academy’s committee on human rights.

Dr Anne Marie Hagen has a postgraduate degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oslo (Cand.philol. 2003) and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh (2015). She recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh) and currently teaches in the University’s Department of English Literature in addition to working as a freelance translator and editor. Her first language is Norwegian.

Reviews of Time’s Witnesses: Women’s Voices from the Holocaust:

“This book is an absolutely unique work of documentation, and it makes a unique impression.”
Sindre Hovdenakk, VG

“The women’s narratives are important, awareness-raising work, soberly penned by Jakob Lothe.”
Espen Søbye, Morgenbladet

Reviews of Time’s Witnesses: Narratives from Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen:

Survival is never something one should take for granted. Nor that history will remain history. What almost all the interviewees have in common is a burning wish for peace, brotherhood, and fight against racism.
Lasse Midttun, Morgenbladet

For further information, a copy of the book, or to speak to Jakob Lothe, please contact:

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080
Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release: Tokyo Nights


Tokyo Nights

by Jim Douglas


Charlie Davis, a modern-day heretic, ditches his past and rushes into a picaresque journey through the glistening nights of Tokyo and the desolate wilds of northern Hokkaido. But the past is not so ready to ditch him; wistful private investigator Colin McCann, hired to look into the death of a wealthy businessman’s daughter, has a few hard questions for Charlie and won’t give up until he’s got answers. And he’s not the only one on Charlie’s trail.

Enter a world of empty orchestras, night butterflies, polite assassins, decadent TV celebrities and a pit-bull called Marvin. Tokyo Nights is a quest and an investigation into what we have become, a dark parable, a wake-up call to the dead 21st century obsessed with compromise, safety and longevity, and a novel that celebrates the excitement and energy of a culture like no other. Jim Douglas is the pen name of two writers – Jim Hickey and Douglas Forrester. Douglas died in September 2016 shortly before the publication of this, his first novel.

Jim Hickey was raised around Dublin and bruised and blessed into a reluctant maturity by boxing trainers and Christian brothers. Back in England, he attempted gentler pursuits such as studying the visual arts, writing poetry in a cottage that bordered the Humber river. He took a job as a manager of a nature reserve in Easington, a hamlet of a river that blends into a sea with little fuss and looked after little terns. The terns flew away and the velvet revolution opened-up a teaching opportunity in the former Czechoslovakia. He taught girls in a music academy how to pronounce Beatles’ songs. He then tried his hand at normality and growing properly up by working as a civil servant in Burnley. Before long he was in Australia, deep in the bush and living with an Aboriginal tribe called the Noongars, officially employed as their teacher. Things came to a halt when he docked in Tokyo. Something ran out and another thing came in. Tokyo Nights is a novel spun from his eventual captivity, minor enlightenment and spots of contentment in Japan. It is a blessing and a sneer. He lives near enough and far enough from the metropolis and remains at pen on the second instalment of this book.

Douglas Forrester was born and raised in Glasgow. He studied law in both Scotland and Amsterdam and spent the mid-summer months working as a grouse beater in the Highlands. After completing university, he​ worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland as a financial advisor before setting off for an expected short-lived sojourn in Japan. He never returned to the bank, nor to law and began to forge out a career of kinds at the now defunct NOVA, where he was Jim’s boss, and then at an international school and several universities. During this time he became a fluent Japanese speaker. He was also an accomplished Shodo-Jaoanese calligraphy-practitioner and showed his work in a number of exhibitions as the only foreigner with work on display. He always had a keen interest in books and shared a passion for the work of Gavin Maxwell and R.L. Stevenson with his co-author. Their collaboration led to Tokyo Nights and is a cornucopia of their often very different experiences and impressions of Japan’s capital city. Doug returned to Glasgow early in 2016 for medical treatment and to be with his family.

Linda MacFadyen
Fledgling Press
Tel: 0191 280 1080
Mb: 07768 390172

Press Release: Charley Chambers


A YA novel published by Fledgling Press
3 October 2016

Take a pinch of magic, a pinch of romance and a pinch of intrigue and – Abracadabra – a spellbinding novel is created.

Rachel Kennedy has dreamt up a singular character – Charley Chambers. From a very early age Charley has felt unlike her peers – she seems to possess unusual powers.

Charley has never really understood or been able to control these powers until she meets Aiden, who teaches her how to handle her magic. But then the devilishly handsome newcomer, Marcus, arrives in school and spells begin to be cast.

Rachel has written a Young Adult novel, brimming with colourful characters. As the story progresses, so does Charley’s understanding of the new world that has been opened up for her and she realises that she must make difficult choices to protect those around her.

Author Information

Rachel Kennedy studied Acting and Performance at college. Charley Chambers is her second novel. She was born in Glasgow and now lives in Balfron, with her daughter, Sian. As well as writing, Rachel is also very passionate about theatre. She also likes nothing better than discussing books over a bottle of wine with her successful crime writing step-father, Denzil Meyrick.

For further information, a copy of the book, or to speak to Rachel Kennedy please contact:

Linda MacFadyen
Tel: 0191 280 1080, Mb: 07768 390172

First hidden copy of Seventeen Coffins found on Arthur’s Seat!

We were delighted to receive a Facebook notification this morning from Denis Ruddy who was cycling from Edinburgh to Linlithgow on April 29th and decided to take a detour via Arthur’s Seat. On his way round Salisbury Crags he stopped for a moment and saw a strange object hidden under a boulder in the South Quarry. Closer inspection showed this to be one of the 3 copies of Seventeen Coffins whch author Philip Caveney had hidden on Arthur’s Seat the week before. The book was mainly intact – dry and only very slightly nibbled by some unknown creature – we had wrapped the book up well against the elements but didn’t factor in the fact that an animal might fancy a piece of paper for its lunch! Well done to Denis for finding a signed copy of Seventeen Coffins. Two more to go!

Boy Soldier and Beyond

From his humble beginnings as a raw recruit aged 15 to his departure from the army aged 27 and a fully qualified Helicopter Air Gunner/Pilot, Alan Brown recounts anecdotes and tales from his life as a soldier in the British army in the 60s and 70s.

This refreshingly frank and often funny book follows Alan as he begins his army career in The Junior Leaders Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, something he describes as almost akin to an army boarding school, through his time as a tank gunner with The Royal Scots Greys and finally to his favourite role – that of Helicopter Air Gunner/Pilot in Germany with 655 Army Aviation Squadron.

Boy Soldier and Beyond will be available in eBook format only from late March 2014.

Where’s our chick gone?

Had quite an interesting email from our distributors – BookSource – today – who asked me to supply our new logo to them as they had noticed the old Fledgling Press chick had changed. This came as a bit of surprise to me as yes, we changed the logo a few weeks back, but I didn’t think it had changed so much that people would notice. Not true! One of our authors also emailed lamenting the loss of the little chick on the book and an intern who had left over a year ago also emailed saying why???? Blame our web designer I said – he wants to drag us into the 21st century. Personally I like the new chick – it’s more modern and slightly more funky than the last one but it appears the jury is out . . .  
Fledgling Press logo

Our revised logo going forward

Fledgling Press Old Logo

Our old logo