The review that matters most has finally come in for Bob Goddard’s latest book.
And, to huge relief, it was a good one from his old English teacher at Spalding Grammar School.
Rodney Lines (76), who taught at the grammar school from 1965 to 1970, says of the book, Mother Moon: “The dialogue is very convincing and goes at a fairly rattling pace and there is enough tension to make you want to read on.”
Bob, who worked at these newspapers for three years after leaving school, claims he was hoping the comments wouldn’t be along the lines of ‘D- Must try harder’.
Though he is living in Norfolk, Bob has plenty of local links with this district, such as his brother Bill Goddard, who still lives in Holbeach where Bob and his three sisters and two brothers grew up.
Bob joined the grammar school after leaving Holbeach Junior School and says he was inspired to write by his old English teacher.
He says of his time at Spalding Grammar School: “It helped instil a love of science, space travel and writing, which have all culminated in this sci-fi story.”
This is his first novel and third published book, with two earlier adventure travel tales recounting hair-raising trips undertaken with his wife Vivienne (nee Earth), a local girl from Spalding.
Rodney admits he doesn’t know a great deal about the science fiction genre but was intrigued about what had inspired the story about a colony at the Moon’s south pole, with a separate narrative set aboard a wooden sailing ship in the year 1504.
He was also delighted to be approached by his former student, whom he remembers well, despite the intervening years.
During that time Rodney spent 30 years with the WEA at Pinchbeck, and is sad it is no longer providing adult education.
Rodney is still active though, as vice-president of the John Clare Society as well as being involved in the Lincolnshire branch of the Sir John Betjeman Society. In 2014, Rodney also lectured on Dylan Thomas as part of the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society lecture series.
Mother Moon is available at Bookmark in Spalding or timbuktu-publishing.co.uk