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  • Writer's picturePaul Burston

A message from the Action Man

A copy of We can Be Heroes with an Action Man figure

Today is September 1, which means it’s been exactly 2 years and 8 months since I stopped drinking alcohol.

And it’s been exactly 3 months since my memoir We Can Be Heroes was officially published.

To be honest, the first of these two anniversaries doesnt feel all that significant. The days when Id drink all the time are far behind me. The “little green wheels” Bowie sang about on Ashes to Ashes are no longer following me. I’m so used to the new alcohol-free me now, it hardly seems like an achievement.

But the second anniversary – the second means more to me than words can say. As most authors will tell you, putting any book out into the world is a nerve-racking experience. Releasing a book as deeply personal as We Can Be Heroes was, quite frankly, terrifying.

So to see the way people have responded to my story has been heartening, to say the least. Some have even said it reads like their story, which pleases me enormously. It means they found it relatable – which is another way of saying it rings true. Theres no greater compliment than that.

Some of the private messages from readers sharing often sad or traumatic personal experiences have been incredibly moving. A few have moved me to tears. Some people have shared things with me they’ve never told anyone before. It’s a privilege and a responsibility I don’t take lightly.

I’m also grateful to everyone who’s posted a photo of the book on social media – like the one above, which was kindly shared by Phil Brierley on Facebook. Thanks, Phil. It’s wonderful to see my book out in the wild – and in such fine company, too!

Social media has played a big part in the books success, as has the overwhelmingly positive response on Amazon. Thanks to everyone whos read We Can Be Heroes, recommended it to a friend, or reviewed or rated it on Amazon, where it currently has over 80 customer reviews and over 370 ratings. These things make a huge difference and are deeply appreciated. Thanks to you, the book has spent much of the past 3 months at the top of the LGBTQ charts.

So thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos. And to those of you whove written to me privately, thank you for entrusting me with your stories. I’m so pleased and proud that reading my story helped you in some small way. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more. Or to put it another way, “I’m happy, hope you’re happy, too.”


If you’re a Young American – or indeed an older American – We Can Be Heroes is included in the US September Kindle Monthly Deal. From today until the end of the month you can purchase the ebook for just $2.49 here!

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