Interview with London writer Terence Jenkins

Terence Jenkins is a historian, journalist, London guide and author of Another Man’s London.  The book tells the lesser known but fascinating stories of some of London’s most interesting people and places.

[Michael Drysdale] What inspired you to write this book?

[Terry Jenkins] After more than 30 years at the chalk face teaching English Literature, I retired early and thought, “What do I do now?” I did a London Guide course, joined the NUJ and tried some freelance journalism which proved successful and after becoming one of the winners of a short story competition, moved from there to a book of short stories which was quite well-received. I then wrote my first book on London, “Another Man’s London” which also went down well.

[MD] Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?

[TJ] I’d always wanted to write and had dabbled since I was a student.

[MD] How did you find the writing/researching process?

[TJ] I enjoyed the research process because it took me out and about the capital. The writing process I found painful because it isolates one and you need other minds to cross-fertilize with.

 [MD] How long did it take?

[TJ] It took me about ten months, including walking around London most weekends, visiting places, talking to people, taking photographs, going to libraries etc

[MD] There are about 30 stories in Another Man’s London. Was there one you particularly enjoyed researching?

 [TJ] I enjoyed “ The French Imperial Family” very much.

 [MD] I’m visiting London for the 2012 Olympics. I have a copy of your book and would like to visit some of the places described. But I have only time for three. Which three should I pick?

[TJ] ”The Outcast Dead”, “Bunhill Fields” , “Hodge”

[MD] Do you have any current writing projects?

[TJ] I’ve just had another book published, “London Lives” which is selling well and I’ve delivered some chapters of a third book on London which will be ready by next summer ( I hope) after which I’m going to try another book of short stories.

[MD]  Thank you and best wishes for 2012.


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