Interview: Global traveller writes first book

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Ian Maber is a former Head of Art and Design at Grantham College. He left the college in 1996 to become a Creative Director for Sony Computer Games US and his first product was Formula One for Playstation.

Ian has since travelled the world as a keynote speaker at major conferences (African Ministers summit, UAE technology summit). He was a key figure in the advisory panel for the British Government on the introduction of ICT into the national curriculum.

He is currently a Senior Consultant for Steelcase Inc, a $4.3 billion company.

Ian moved to Grantham 34 years ago and still lives in the town.

Noe he has written his first book. It is called SCUMS and is based on his schooldays.

Why did you decide to write a book now?

I decided to write the book because for years I have always been told I have so many adventures and such a vast experience of things, that I should put these all in a book. Over the Christmas vacation, my partner Hilary encouraged me by saying now was the time to write that first book. It was a very daunting task as I don’t consider myself an author, but it did allow me to put these stories down for others to enjoy.

How much of the book is fact and how much fiction?

I suppose the simple answer is about 70 per cent fact. It is based my schooldays and as I write I use the type of teachers I had, combined with ones I knew years later when I myself was a teacher, as well as the local area characteristics as the foundations. I did have a head called Hall, there was a love interest and I did encounter the typing teacher. The events have been embellished but again many are based upon fact, eg the swap day was real as were the concerts. I actually took part in these concerts.

Why is the book called SCUMS?

The book is called SCUMS because it stands for St Christopher’s United Modern School. The term ‘scum’ was sadly a reflection of the way many saw those who lived in the back to back (slum) environment and who considered those who lived there to be less intelligent, less well mannered and did not bother with their appearance ( if you look at - there is a more detailed explanation)

Where were you born and did you enjoy growing up?

I was born in Northamptonshire and grew up in one of these back to back areas - which has now long gone and was considered as a slum clearance project to make way for new industrial parks. People trusted each other and helped each other no matter what little they had.

The font door would be left open when people went out and every visit to a neighbour started with a brew. The sense of community was strong. Mend and make do was 
high on the list of skills required to survive this hard existence.

Will you write another book?

Yes. I am half way through and some who have read the first book are eagerly awaiting book two. Eric Chappell has even seen it and said that he also enjoyed it.

You still live in the Grantham area. What do you like about the place?

My job takes me all over the world but the expression ‘there is no place like home’ is true. I live in Barrowby which is worlds away from the busy and hectic world of big business. I like the fact I can leave my house and within a very short time can be in a small village pub, visit local craft fairs and fetes or just enjoy the open countryside.