From Snooker Legends to World Seniors Snooker Tour

JasonBookCover2018

 

Jason Francis, creator of Snooker Legends, chairman of the World Seniors Snooker Tour and the man who has been at Ronnie’s side for about five years, tells us about his snooker and business journey since the creation of Snooker Legends in 2010 until today and the building of a viable, well organised and international Seniors Tour.

This is the “second edition” of Jason’s story, but even if you did read the first one, you will find plenty more interesting  stuff in this one.

Jason here is the narrator of his own story, and the whole book takes us through his dreams, his endeavours, his experiences – good and lesss good – and his emotions, from the day he thought about creating snookers shows featuring Legends of the game, and Alex Higgins in particular, to the idea of a proper Seniors Tour giving a future in the sport to those who have given so much to it, still love it with a passion, but aren’t quite good or strong enough anymore for the very competitive main Tour and its hectic schedule.

Along the way, Jason tells us about the players he’s been working with. Jason is a positive person and, clearly, he focuses on the good in people rather than their weaknesses. He’s telling us about the real persons, not the stereotyped images crafted by the media in order to create stories featuring villains and good guys. There are many players you will look at differently next time you see them on TV!

Jason also tells us about his sometimes difficult relationship with World Snooker and Barry Hearn. But then again his focus is on “making things work” rather than “starting a war” although, at a time, that scenario was a real possibility. There were issues, hurdles, misconceptions and, at times distrust and envy. But there were also people really wanting to overcome those and build something for the better of the sport they love.  Ultimately, now they are working together: the WPBSA Seniors Tour is reality.

Jason has been at Ronnie’s side from mid 2012 until end 2017. He tells us about their relationship, building trust and friendship, the highs and lows, the successes and the crises, the laughter and the tears and, finally, where they stand today. By the way, Ronnie wrote the foreword of this book.

I really enjoyed the book. Just one regret: the editorial work could have been better, there are a few glitches here and there and it’s a pity.

The book is available on Amazon

And here is David Hendon, assistant editor at Snooker Scene and Eurosport commentator chatting with Jason about his book:

Vegan Power?

Not really although Ronnie was thinking about Neil Robertson whilst cooking this one.

Ronnie and Rhiannon were at it again today on social media, cooking one of the receipts that will feature in their book to come “Top of your game”. So for those who aren’t on FB here it is … with some interesting bits of conversation.

Some infos about Ronnie’s third novel

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Ronnie’s third “Soho Nights” series novel is now available for pre-order on amazon (and maybe elsewhere too). It’s due to be out on November 15, 2018.

here is the “trailer” (source amazon.co.uk)

It’s 1997 and Cool Britannia’s in full swing. Oasis and Blur are top of the pops and it feels like the whole country’s sorted out for E’s and wizz.

But it’s not just UK plc that’s on a high. Life’s looking up for Frankie James too. He’s paid off his debts to London’s fiercest gang lord, Tommy Riley. His Soho Open snooker tournament is about to kick off at his club. He might even have fallen in love.

But then Frankie finds himself being blackmailed by a face from his past. They want him to steal something worth millions. Enough to get him killed. Or banged up for life if he says no.

Frankie’s going to need every ounce of luck and guile that he’s got if he’s going pull off the heist of the century and get out of this in one piece.

The Break is the fast-paced, thrilling third book in the Soho Nights series, by snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

I quite enjoyed the first two, that left quite a number of questions open… maybe they get answers in this one?

Ronnie O’Sullivan to release health and fitness book

This is something Ronnie has been about many times on his twitter account. It’s about to become reality.

Here is the annoucement:

Ronnie O’Sullivan to release health and fitness book

Ronnie O’Sullivan to release health and fitness book

 

Bonnier Publishing imprint Lagom has signed snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan’s first health and fitness book. Entitled Top of Your Game: Eating for the Mind and Body, it will contain over 80 “nourishing” recipes, created with Harley Street nutritionist and author Rhiannon Lambert.

The book, pitched as “a one stop shop for living better, eating healthier and feeding your brain to enhance your performance”, will focus on how food links to concentration and mental sharpness, as well as combatting insomnia, anxiety and learning how to digitally detox.

Natalie Jerome, acquisitions director and publisher at Bonnier Publishing, signed world language rights from Jonny Geller and Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.

O’Sullivan OBE has won 32 ranking titles in snooker, including five World Championships, seven masters and a joint record six UK Championship titles. According to Bonnier Publishing, the new book will “show readers how to eat, think and work your way to being number one – and how to stay there”. It draws on O’Sullivan’s learnings from his nutritionist, Lambert, after two years ago he “hit a wall with his physical and mental wellbeing”.

O’Sullivan said his new attitude to diet, health and fitness had changed his life. “When it comes to snooker, I should be on the way down by now, but here I am in my 40’s still competing at the top of the game and fitter than ever,” he said. “I truly believe what you eat keeps you young and in prime position. There are kids half my age competing and they can’t concentrate because they eat rubbish and never put down their phones! It’s all about eating great food, pacing yourself, recuperating and knowing your mental health is just as important as your physical health. The biggest gains are made when you fuel yourself well, exercise regularly and you rest – thinking this way has changed my life.”

Lambert, his co-author, has worked with sports men and women including Chelsea footballer Cesc Fabregas, England international cricketer Nick Compton and British paralympic gold medallist rower David Smith MBE, as well as with TV personalities Lisa Snowdon and “Masterchef” presenter Gregg Wallace.

Top of Your Game publishes on 27th December 2018.

 

“Framed” – a review by Csilla

Framed

As comments are closed on posts here after some time, to prevent bots spams,  Csilla found herself unable to post her thoughts about “Framed”. So here they are on her behalf. Thank you Csilla.

SPOILERS, SPOILERS, so if you have not read the book, don’t read this.
I enjoyed it very much, and the slang was not a problem, it was easily understandable, although I do wonder how much shorter this novel would be without the generous use of the f-word (but not a problem, my favourite spy-series had “bloody” everywhere).
Also quite good that though it is not a first person narrative it reads like one: I think it never loses Frankie’s perspective and I like the kind of narration that flows from this approach.
Love that it is not the conventional crime story where the murderer and his motives are investigated: Frankie in the end only wants to clear Jack and if a witness cleared him saying it was not him who committed the crime, I suppose, Frankie would have left the rest of the investigation to the police, even though he was sufficiently appalled by the way of the murder.
My favourite part is when Frankie is running from the cops and then escaping after he found Star dead. It is already interesting that the police was called by a neighbour, not by Wilson/the Hamiltons, especially because otherwise it completely smells like the same setup of which Jack was a victim, so a good ploy. But I really like that Frankie gets away: we have seen a lots of police dramas where the cops always catch whomever they chase, so it is really nice to see someone to flee successfully and one of my favourite/funniest sentences is when Frankie says that if he gets away he will make his body a f-ing temple (and of course, he drinks a lot of vodka when he makes it home).
Kidnapping poor Baotic looked to me a little like “jumping the shark”, but I like the two observations by Frankie about this: first that he actually enjoys acting like a criminal (scary, but understandable), then when he is captured by Wilson and Hamilton, he does not like looking at Baotic, because now he realizes that he had done the same to him as what was being done to Frankie now, and Baotic must have been equally scared etc. It is quite good to put oneself into other people’s shoes.
For me it is obvious from the first time he mentions it that no tape had been made, and in any case, I don’t think it would be very useful to send a tape to the police where he was beating the witness with a crowbar to make him tell the truth. Dougie yeah, he would find it “useful”, but the police? Frankie would go to jail himself fast. But it is well played with Hamilton, and that is a very good part too: it is obvious that Frankie will survive, so the interesting thing is not whether, but how.
Finally, I kept wondering whether or not he would end up with Sharon and I know it is part of not having a happy ending that he did not, but I was happy about it. First of all, of course it is suggested, or Frankie suggests that he just screwed up, because when Sharon came he was kissing the other woman, but Sharon might have visited him to say good-bye, telling him she would go to Hong Kong, or anything like this. Second, despite Frankie not being a criminal, I can’t imagine that the kind of life he leads and people he knows would be conductive to a good relationship with a policewoman.

Some of my beefs, or loose ends not tied (to quote Columbo).
A small one: Chloe in that fancy brothel gives Frankie her number. Since there is no follow-up, it is a sort of action gratuite, maybe to show that yes, Frankie is a very attractive man, buta little pointless.
It was obvious that Xandra and Slim would have some problems with each other, and it was also obvious that Xandra did not take the money, so there must be another explanation.
However, it is a little strange that Slim thinks Xandra stole £400 (my monthly scholarship in 1995/96 was £600, so it was a lot of money), and then he writes the note and does not open the club: why would he throw good money after bad and since they already lost what was in the till, why top it up with more losses by not opening? Because of it for awhile I thought that the Hamiltons got to them too and forced Slim to write the note and then kidnapped them too.
Finally, the biggest: there is a lot of talk about Snaresby being a strange cop (with such a name no surprise), who must have known Frankie’s parents, Frankie’s father tells Frankie to be careful about him, Snaresby is the one who comes to the club after it is vandalised, he goes to tell Frankie the bad news about the grandmother not exonerating Jack and delivers some lecture too, so the whole thing builds up to some kind of big revelation about Snaresby, but that never comes.
OK, this was literature talk for now.

Double Kiss – a review

Ronnie O’Sullivan will be signing copies of his new book Double Kiss at WHSmith Glasgow tomorrow, Tuesday 12th, December at 6pm.

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So I thought this is a good time to write a little review …

Double Kiss is the second book of the “Soho Nights” series, and, although it’s probably possible to read it independently, I would strongly recommend to read  “Framed” first because in Ronnie’s books, like in real life, there are a lot of characters surrounding the main protagonist and many of them are actually introduced, in context, in the first book of the series.

here is what Double Kiss is about:

Frankie James has his hands full.

He’s trying to develop the club he has “inherited” from his father to make it profitable. Part of this plan is to organise a snooker tournament, the Soho Open, that would attract pros as well as amateurs. To achieve that he needs to find promoters and sponsors and he wants to stay in control of it, which means staying away from the gangs running the area. This isn’t easy especially as his younger brother Jack is involved with one gang in particular, the one run by Tommy Riley. Worse, Frankie is indebted to Tommy who helped him clear his brother’s name when he was falsely accused of murder.

Frankie is also convinced that his father, who is imprisoned for armed robbery, didn’t get a fair trial and he is looking for evidence in order to get the case reopened.

If that wasn’t enough, a postcard arrives through the post, from Mallorca, seemingly written by his mother, who suddenly disappeared eight years ago.

And then, Tommy Riley requests Frankie’s help to bring back home his god-daughter, a teenager who has gone off the rails and eloped to Ibiza with her boyfriend. Frankie has no choice but to accept, and decides that, as he is going to the Baleares Islands anyway, he will take the opportunity to do some research about the sender of that postcard whilst fulfilling his mission…

At the heart of the series is Soho, a colourful area of London, and the language the book is written in, is just as colourful and uses a lot of slang. It has its charm and certainly gives the characters an authenticity, but it might be a bit difficult to read for non native English speakers. And it will require a very careful and skilful translation, if it is ever translated, to not betray the spirit of the original. That said, it makes Soho itself a character of the story in its own right and I like it. In that way, it’s a bit similar to the “Inspector Morse” series of books by Colin Dexter, where Oxford is central to both the narration and the atmosphere.

Frankie himself is very similar as a person to the author, Ronnie, and it’s even more obvious in Double Kiss than it was in Framed. He is not Ronnie, but he shares a number of traits with Ronnie, both in his personality and in his life history and cultural heritage.

The book itself is pacy, gritty, entertaining and keeps you guessing. I don’t want to spoil the readers of this blog so that’s all I’ll say. However, as the book finishes, it is clear that the story, and Frankies quests are far from over. When you reach the last pages, it leaves you wanting for more, thinking and trying to figure out where all this will lead Frankie, and you, the reader, along with him, as the plot unfolds in the third book to be published next year.

I liked Framed, and liked Double Kiss even better because of the various sub plots it presents. There is more depth and maturity in this one. And I will certainly read the third instalment of the “Soho Nights” when it comes out.

Ronnie news and snooker news

Ronnie was out on social media today to confirm that the sequel of “Framed” will be out in November and its title is “Double Kiss”

On twitter:

my new book, out Nov but pre-order it here and i’ll sign it too. thanks for your support Ro x

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And on Facebook

please to say my new book will be out in November. More stories of Frankie, you can order a signed copy here thanks for your support Ro x

As a reminder, here is the “trailer” …

The race is on. The stakes are high. Frankie James thought his troubles were behind him. He’s busy running his Soho Club, and his brother’s finally out of prison. But when a postcard arrives from Mallorca, he’s stopped in his tracks . . . Is it from his mother – the woman who’s been missing for eight years? When the goddaughter of London’s fiercest gangster, Tommy Riley, goes missing in Ibiza, Tommy knows there’s one man for the job – Frankie James. Just when Frankie was on the straight and narrow, he’s now faced with an impossible choice. If he agrees to help find Tanya, he’ll be thrown into a world of danger. If he doesn’t, Tommy could destroy him. For Frankie James, old habits die hard. One thing’s for sure, playing with this gang is no game. But with everything at stake, how can Frankie say no? Double-Kiss is the fast-paced, thrilling sequel to Framed, by snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Note that, unfortunately, whsmith delivers only in the UK, so this offer is only valid for UK readers…

Now about the snooker

It transpired on social media earlier last week that the Shanghai Masters 2017 was still no certainty, that the deal wasn’t done yet and the entry pack not out. Worldsnooker has since removed the tournament from its “live scores” calendar, so I reckon it’s not going to happen. That the Shanghai Masters disappears is a shame, that the week between 13 and 19 November becomes free would be good news, in my opinion at least. I’m not sure how the top players, who are only human, were supposed to cope with playing in China for the International Championship, next in the Champion of Champions in Coventry, then in China again for the Shanghai Masters, then back to UK for the Northern Ireland Open considering that there isn’t a single “free” day in that schedule. It would not have been just about the hectic traveling, it would also be about how the human body adjusts to time difference and broken sleep patterns.  You can’t realistically expect them to play in every of those tournaments AND to perform at the top of their ability in each. That said there is still a “China Ranking Event” in Worldsnooker Calendar but unless it’s all 128 at the venue, I wonder when the qualifiers could possibly be played, Maybe right after the English Open? Anyway, personally, I hope it’s scratched.

Players are currently in Yushan for the World Open and there have been a few notorious casualties already: Mark Selby, Michael White, Liang Wenbo, Shaun Murphy, Barry Hawkins and Graeme Dott are all out already (*) as the last 32 is starting tomorrow. Apparently the venue and conditions are very good. But the trip to get there is quite long and tiring – it’s a rather remote place – and a number of players arrived without their cue or their luggage. This of course isn’t Worldsnooker fault, but the more connections and different transports are needed, the likelier these incidents become. And there are complaints about the hotel(s) too. Why not stick to big cities, with easy connections? Surely this would allow more fans to come and watch live as well?

(*) Ali Carter, the defending Champion and Ronnie didn’t enter, Judd Trump didn’t qualify.