Little, Brown imprint Robinson has signed a memoir from “Supercop” Alistair Livingstone and Mick Dawson’s account of two veterans, one traumatised and one blind, in a pair of deals.
Publishing director Duncan Proudfoot scooped world all language rights for both books.
First title Broken Blue Line: How Life as Britain’s Supercop Broke Me by Alan Livingstone shows how he went from headlines for making more arrests than any other UK officer, through a breakdown to a slow, painful recovery. The book, out in autumn 2020, offers an insight into the real world of modern policing and aims to remove lingering stigmas around mental illness.
Proudfoot said: “Ali has an extraordinary story to tell and he tells it very well indeed. He has exhibited conspicuous bravery in many situations over a number of years that would have overwhelmed most people, but his biggest challenge remains his most recent, ongoing one: the struggle to regain his mental health. Both in his struggle to do so and in sharing this account, Ali is being even braver than before. His courage deserves recognition, and his open account will help many, not least his fellow police officers and others in frontline roles protecting the most vulnerable in society.”
Livingstone added: “I thoroughly enjoyed being a police officer and I got to experience the sharp end of policing in so many different ways. When I finally made the decision to leave I was simply devastated and the months that followed my breakdown were the toughest I’d ever faced. I’m well on the road to recovery now and I hope that by sharing my story it’ll shine a light on the challenges of modern policing and the toll it can take, and in doing so it’ll help others.”
Proudfoot also acquired rights in Dawson’s Never Leave a Man Behind from Wendy Keller of Keller Media for release in June 2020. It tells the story of two veterans, Steve Grenham and Steve ‘Sparky’ Sparkes, who rediscover themselves with the help of a friend in the course of two epic ocean adventures, kayaking around the Falklands and rowing across the Pacific.
Proudfoot explained: “Mick tells not one, but two epic stories of lending a helping hand to fellow military veterans, one traumatised, one blind. Through two voyages, which would have been challenging for ocean experts, let alone novices, Mick helped Steve and Sparky to surmount difficulties in their own lives in triumphant fashion. These are incredibly moving stories, very well told, of remarkable men, helping each other to achieve almost impossible goals.”
Dawson commented: “Steve Grenham and Sparky were old mates who I discovered had both been let down badly by the system put in place to support veterans struggling with physical and mental health issues. I felt an ocean adventure could help them. I was right but I had no idea how life changing those ocean adventures would become, for all of us.”