They have a flair for writing, no doubt. Don’t we remember our Anglo-Indian English teachers with fondness? And the fact that companies at one point of time always preferred Anglo-Indian secretaries for their impeccable English?
So, it is not surprising that the community would dole out a treasure trove of literary works by fascinating story tellers.
For Harry MacLure, editor-publisher of Anglos In The Wind, a magazine that bridges distances between the scattered Anglo-Indian population across the globe, reading through the contribution of writers from the community meant a discovery of latent talent.
He says, “There are fine writers whose skills are largely undiscovered. In some houses, there is a possibility of a great manuscript left unnoticed or rejected by other publishers. Fifteen years ago, when I started ‘Anglos In The Wind’, I came across some brilliant writers who wrote for the magazine. In fact, the magazine has been instrumental in discovering the hidden writing skills in the community.”
With fiction and non-fiction titles, the Anglo-Ink publishing house, another venture by Harry MacLure, encourages quality writing.
He, however, adds that Anglo-Ink is not a mere commercial venture, as it also aims to provide a platform for aspiring writers who struggle to find publishers.
“We are looking at it as a record of our history and culture. It is about providing easy access to our stories,” he adds.
An interesting aspect about the writers who have so far approached Anglo-Ink with their manuscripts is that a major percentage of them are non-writers.” Most of them are in the 40-plus age group. We are also looking forward to having younger writers,” he says.
The first title was The Year Before Sunset by Hugh & Colleen Gantzer, followed by Lillooah Revisited by Denis Whitworth and Blood and Steel by Brig D E Hayde. The latest title launched is ‘Footprints On the Track’.
MacLure says that the publishing house is open to non-Anglo-Indians writing about the community as well. Apart from the new titles, the publishing house is also looking at reprinting literary works by Anglo-Indian writers that have gone out of print.
As an advantage of having a complete system in place, the magazine has an in-house set up that can support publishing of the books, the cost and time taken is far less. MacLure adds, “Unlike big publishing houses, we are not looking at 10,000 copies per title to begin with. We can always print more once we sell out the initial copies.”
Anglo-Ink finds support from The Philip Lawrence Wood Foundation.
Also, regarding distribution, Anglo-Ink aims to take the works directly to the readers. “In large book stores, they might not get the display needed. We will soon be making the titles available online through paypal options,” he says.