Why This Blog is Called The Emperor’s Watchmaker (Part 2 of 2)

The Emperor’s Watchmaker is my one and only children’s book. It’s inspired by Ryszard Kapuscinski‘s The Emperor: Downfall of An Autocrat.   Kapuscinski  transcribes interviews with the workers of the palace as it crumbles from the outside in – The final days of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Many Ethiopians believe his  book  untrue and that testimony could not be gathered at that time in  Ethiopian history. But whether you think it fact or fiction it is undeniably an incredible book and it’s where I began my imaginations for the children’s book.

I imagined  a character in one poem –   the eponymous  Emperor’s Watchmaker – who after making the Emperor’s watch took it on himself to  say  tic toc until the end of time,  just in case the emperor’s watch stopped:  To save time – Tic.   On one level you could think him mad – toc –  finishing his lines –  tic –  with a tic or a toc – toc – and  On the other hand –  tic –  he sees everything – toc. Including the plot – tic.

So I titled this blog after him – The Emperor’s Watchmaker.  Stephen Wilkinson summed it  up  when in commenting on the blog he said  “Who watches the watches?  The watchmaker!”. As for  The Children’s book? Writing it  was one of the most  rewarding expeditions of my career. It sits quietly waiting for me to buy it on ebay.   I get a request for the book once a fortnight from somewhere in the world.  The  Emperor’s watchmaker knows what time it is.

1 thought on “Why This Blog is Called The Emperor’s Watchmaker (Part 2 of 2)

  1. I was very touched by you on Desert Island Discs earlier and it made me remember taking my young son (he was maybe 6?? now 15) to an event you were doing for kids at the British Museum, some years ago. Afterwards we bought your lovely book of poems which my son used to take into school to read. He has never really read since then. I am now going to try to find it in his pit of a room and look at it with his little sister, who’s 7. What a shame the book is out of print now. These are the only poems that Isaac has ever connected with

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *