The Writers' Cooperative

Truth, Lies and Propaganda

Today’s featured author from the Writers’ Cooperative is Lucinda E Clarke, a fascinating lady who has led an adventurous life, chronicling many of those adventures in her best-selling books.

Truth, Lies and Propaganda

Do you want to be writer? Work in television or on the radio? Meet lots of famous people? It will be glamorous, exciting and scintillating right? Wrong. If you’re young, think again. If you chose a different career, consider yourself lucky you were spared.

Truth, Lies and Propaganda is the first of two books about how Lucinda ‘fell’ into a career in writing for radio and television.

#1 in genre in the US on Saturday (and not for the first time) with 4.9 from 30 reviews.

There was the case of the condemned rat: the embarrassing interview with a world famous sportsman she’d never heard of: the days spent crawling over rubbish dumps: getting lost in a helicopter over the mountains: the presenters who never learned their lines and swore on camera: the cookery programmes when the food went rancid under the hot lights: the clients from hell.

These are just a few of the hilarious stories in Truth, Lies and Propaganda book one. It’s a memoir that reads like fiction.

You can of course look up the reviews for yourself, but to make it easier for you, here are a couple.

An amazing lady has written another very astonishing book. Truth, Lies, Propaganda details Lucinda E. Clarke’s thirty years of working in the media in Africa. I used to think that working in radio would be a glamorous job, but working while surrounded by bayonet welding soldiers tends to take the glamour out of the job. The stories Clarke tells are fascinating and intriguing. I loved the story about the rats, and trust me; I don’t like rats. Her sense of humor is over the top as she finds a way to keep a smile on your face. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out. Lucinda E. Clarke has once again written an amazing piece of literature which you will love.

It is remarkable that she has managed to deliver such a comprehensive exopsé without resorting to vindictive outrage or to personal criticism of individuals in positions of influence or power. This adds to the believability of her account and makes what is already a fascinating read a very powerful account.

I very rarely read non-fiction or memoirs but I find this author’s books, about her life in Africa fascinating. Her time working within media is told in an informative, but humorous way. Some of the situations are hilarious while at the same time the book gives an interesting insight to media practices and life within South Africa. Throughout the book, the writer’s energy and zest for life bounces off the page, and it is easy to imagine how she met all the challenges sent her way.

You know sometimes people ask you, “If you could invite a guest to dinner who would it be?” Up until recently I couldn’t tell you but now I unequivocally know, Lucinda E Clark. What I wouldn’t do to have a meal with this woman and spend hours listening to her stories about her life.

The technical stuff
Available on Amazon price US$3.05 £1.99 CDN$ 3,52 au$ 3.99 in kindle and paperback. Also for free in Kindle Unlimited.
Available in paperback: £6.36 US$ 9.99 CND$25.85
253 pages
Web page:
Amazon author page:
Twitter: @LucindaEClarke
Link to a radio interview about her first book

Lucinda E Clarke

Lucinda’s life has not been boring. She was born and raised in Dublin, dragged into her teens in the Cotswolds and finished off in Liverpool. She has lived in 8 different countries, in a croft in Scotland, a mansion in Libya, a farm in Botswana, a boat in South Africa and other dwellings in between.

She dutifully trained to be a teacher, despite bleating she wanted to be a writer. She worked as a radio announcer in Benghazi and then, years later, after being from her teaching job, she crashed out in an audition with the words “Go home and write.”

She did, for radio, then television and later for government and industry. Before leaving South Africa to retire in Spain, she ran her own video production company, winning 21 awards along the way.

Her career in the media had its highs and lows but there was never a dull moment and lots of laughs along the way.

Since retiring Lucinda has published 5 books, thrilled to write as and when she wants. She is also learning more about the technical side of the internet than she ever wanted to know.

Her other books include: Walking over Eggshells, Amie an African Adventure, Amie and the Child of Africa and More Truth Lies and Propaganda.

Her next book is a political satire.

A word from Amie about Lucinda.
Honestly, she is a real pain in the neck. She’s obsessive about her writing, lives, eats, breathes it. It wasn’t so bad when she was rabbiting on about her memoirs, all 3 of them, but then she had to create me and she’s put me through hell. It might be alright for her, she spent more than half a life in Africa, but she uprooted me and took me to live there too.

OK, her memoirs are fun to read, and I did giggle a lot, and she assures me it’s all true. I’ve suggested she slows down, she’s really getting on a bit, but no, she’s fiercely ambitious, even though she is, in my opinion a bit of an idiot. No, she’s a lot an idiot. It was better before two people compared her to Wilbur Smith, who also wrote about Africa, and now there is no stopping her.

Anyhow, do the ‘look inside’ thing and make up your own minds, don’t take my word for it.

Extract from Truth, Lies and Propaganda

I had visited several factories producing food, but it was when I made a couple of programmes about a large bakery chain that I learned another lesson.
There were a couple of interviews with one of the managers when I carefully wrote down all the information they wanted included in the programme – how many vehicles there were, the number of loaves baked per day and so on. I scurried off home and wrote the script, and returned to their offices a few days later, feeling that they would probably be quite pleased with my efforts.
They weren’t.
We were all sitting in an imposing boardroom, a range of directors and managers and I. As I gazed at the impressive art collection, the shimmering reflections leaping off the huge table and the photos of past presidents adorning the walls, these eminent men read it through in front of me. I began to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach as they all began to shake their heads. One by one, they took pens out of their top pockets and began to strike out scene after scene after scene.
Now, had it been a programme on a subject such as atomic fusion or even that sisalation one I mentioned earlier, I could understand it. But how could anyone go wrong writing down the facts about a bakery? I was about to find out.
“Wrong number of trucks,” remarked one guy.
“I agree, and we don’t bake as many loaves as that either.”
“And too many ovens as well,” added a third important man.
I was astounded. I sneaked a look at my notes, surely I could not have got those facts and figures so wrong? The numbers I had written down in the interview tallied with those in the script. Had I been daydreaming?
“Come back next week with the correct figures,” I was instructed and I tried to crawl invisibly out of the room, which incidentally, is not an easy thing to do.
The following week I was only confronted by one of the managers, who again trawled through the revised script.
“Tsk, tsk, no, it’s 159 trucks,” he muttered, “only 40,000 donuts a day, and we don’t make fairy cakes anymore.”
“Can we synchronize these figures?” I asked tentatively. We did.
The following day I was back in and this time I was shown into a different office occupied by a different manager. He pointed to an uncomfortable looking chair on the other side of his desk and perused the script.
“No, too many trucks,” he murmured, scoring his pen through the relevant paragraph. “And where are the fairy cakes? They’re one of our best sellers. Why haven’t you included them? Didn’t you see them on the production line when you were shown around the factory?”
“Well, yes, but…” I was lost for words. I knew nothing about the world of big business and the boardroom directors and the various managers of different divisions and their day to day interactions.
“Can you please tell me the exact number of trucks, and how many fairy cakes, and can I make a list of all the products you want included?”
“You will have to check with the transport division on the trucks, but these are the lines I want you to mention….”
So, he wasn’t sure about the number of trucks, so why did he say I’d got it wrong? I escaped back to the office and wailed to the producer. What was the matter with me? I couldn’t even take a simple list of products and vehicles and ovens and workers, without getting them all wrong! I just knew I had the early onset of dementia.
Bob laughed at me. “And what did it say on the tape?” he asked.
“What tape?” I replied.
“On your tape recorder,” he said.
“I don’t have a tape recorder.”
“Then go get one.”
In all the to-ing and fro-ing, it had not entered my head that these top executives could be wrong and I could be right! I dug into my meagre savings, walked into the next meeting and plonked my new tape recorder firmly on the boardroom table in full sight. They did a double take and their faces were a picture. One by one they left the room, returning with piles of paper, files and spreadsheets. Finally, I was given the correct figures, which was a big relief as I had forgotten to buy batteries for the tape recorder.

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