Talking to Stan Barstow inspired Wakefield author to write stories

It was reading familiar tales of working class life that helped author Ivor Tymchak to recognise the stories that were right in front of him.
It was reading familiar tales of working class life that helped author Ivor Tymchak to recognise the stories that were right in front of him.

It was reading familiar tales of working class life that helped author Ivor Tymchak to recognise the stories that were right in front of him.

Having just completed his first collection of short stories, the author said the influence of Horbury novelist Stan Barstow – who wrote A Kind of Loving – showed that there were tales worth telling where he was from.

Mr Tymchak said: “Previously I had only read novels from middle or upper class writers and they never touched on the kind of world I inhabited. Stan gave me permission to make my voice heard.

“A Kind of Loving was a real eye-opener for me, coming from a seriously working class background with parents who were Ukrainian immigrants and didn’t have two pennies to rub together.

“Everything I’d read before that seemed very middle class and out of reach.”

Decades ago Mr Tymchak spoke to Mr Barstow on the phone looking for advice about writing.

In Mr Tymchak new collection, Sex & Death and Other Stories, he follows up the meeting with a fictional account of why Barstow might have stayed in Horbury.

He said: “You don’t need to move to some exotic location for inspiration. If you look closely enough you cans see the stories.

“I imagine that Stan thought ‘this is where my roots are’. It’s the first thing you advise anyone – write about what you know and then the authenticity comes out.”

The book launch will be held at Rickaro Books – which was opened by Mr Barstow – in Horbury on October 11 at 7pm.

The celebrated author, born to a mining family in Wakefield, was educated at Ossett Grammar School and went on to write a string of successful novels as well as a number of short stories and plays for radio.

A Kind of Loving proved popular enough to be made into a film and two sequels were written.