What does a farmer, radio host and a cruise ship entertainer have in common?
They are just three of the occupations and stories of everyday men featured in Julie Ankers’ new book “Call Me Frank”.
Ms Ankers will be heading to libraries across the Central West to chat about the new book after a successful run of talks last year with her book “Feisty, Fabulous and Fifty Plus”.
She said the new book, which tells the stories of twenty men over the age of fifty, came about after writing about the experiences of women.
“The first book I’ve actually spoken at the Cowra Library about was called Feisty, Fabulous and 50+ and that was 21 stories written by women over 50 about what life is like for them now and how they ended up where they are,” she said.
“Every time I spoke at a library there would be a few men who would appear and sit around the edges, almost whistling saying I’m not really here or I’m embarrassed.
“I thought well okay, I’m better off writing a book for them.
“It’s all about where they’ve come from, their histories and where they are now.”
Ms Ankers, along with co-editor Kerry Chater, got the men to tell their stories in their own words.
“So for the men’s book, we’ve got such a variety of men and backgrounds,” she said.
“There’s Damien Beaumont, Damien is with ABC Classic FM and he is very well known, fabulous voice and so his story is a “Full Life Well Lived”.
“Indigenous man Paul Callaghan talks about depression, “Befriending the Black Dog”, he writes beautifully.
“We have Allan Hughes who was a cruise ship entertainer. His story is “A Comedian, Preacher and a Teacher walk into a bar”.
She said she found the majority of the book’s subjects through word of mouth.
“Some of the men were actually the partners of the women in the first book, my editor knew quite a few men, from across Australia, from all walks of life,” she said.
Ms Ankers said while the majority of book buyers and people who attend her talks are women, she hopes the stories will reach out to men.
“It’s a way for women to get to understand men,” she said.
“It’s meant for people to read it who are probably 50 plus and go, well I’ve got a pretty good life.
“But some people might read it and say wow, I could be doing that, you know, he’s doing something that I could do.
“So that’s why I’ve written these books, to tell people just because you’re 50 plus, you’re not dead.”
Julie will be hosting a talk at Cowra library on June 20 at 2pm and bookings can be made.
She will also be in Parkes, Forbes and Orange.