Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Those funny quiz Calendars? Yes, Glen Reid creates them!

Welcome Wednesday has something fantastic for you. 

Over the past couple of years I've opened my blog to authors of many different sub-genres of fiction, and to a few who write non- fiction. One of those authors writes crosswords, and the last Welcome Wednesdays's  popular author shared her memoir.

Today, I'm featuring Award Winning - Glen Reid - who creates specialised 'trivia challenge desk calendars. 

I've seen these 'page a day fun desk calendars' in the shops and wondered who makes them, but this is the first time I've ever made contact with an author/ creator of them. I'm really pleased to have Glen broaden the scope of writing styles even further on this blog.

I haven't physically met Glen, yet, but as it happens he's a fairly near neighbour in my village in north-east Scotland. I 'met' him through local circumstances and he's now a Facebook friend. I'm delighted that Glen is sharing with us how he came to be in this profession.

It's definitely an intriguing kind of writing, Glen, but now over to your story of how you came to be in the business of designing quiz calendars.... 

My kids have reached the age where their curiosity is hard to contain, and they question and debate almost anything from the best colour to Gods grand plan.   

One morning, their breakfast munching was being interrupted by the ebb and flow of a career debate.  Robert (9) could not understand why Lloyd (6) would want to be a fireman instead of a footballer.  It seemed that saving lives was inconsequential compared to the feeling of scoring a goal. It was at this point that they posed the question which temporarily stumped me, “Dad, why did you choose to write calendars?”

I can honestly say that it had never been my dream job, but I certainly wouldn’t change it now.  As a child, I’d always been convinced that I would go into business when I grew up, convinced and vague as I had no idea what type of business would get my attention.  After graduating with a BA in Commerce, I still didn’t know what type of business to go into, but my overdraft dictated that I take the first job that came along, which was in the oil service industry.  

Although I initially enjoyed my work, well the money anyway, I moved around, always trying to find something that really clicked with me, and before I knew it I had ‘lost’ 10 years in a career that wasn’t for me.  I still had no plan, no escape route until my lovely wife, Alysia, gave me a George W. Bush quotes page-a-day desk calendar. 

Now, whilst I quite enjoyed laughing at the unbelievable stupid things that he’d said, I thought a football quiz/trivia calendar would be better.  I searched everywhere for one, but no one had ever written a quiz calendar, let alone a football one.  I had one of those bizarre eureka moments, they really do exist you know!  I would quit my dependable, but soulless job, use all my savings, write a style of calendar which hadn’t been done before and pray others liked it! 

Most wives would’ve tried to knock the madness out of their husbands, but not Alysia, she stood by me, even when the whole house had been turned into a warehouse with 6,000 calendars stacked high (and no orders for them!).

Well it turned out that others did like the Football calendar, and that was just the start.  The shops wanted a range, so I got very busy and we now have seven calendars; Think You Know Football, Think You Know Golf, Think You Know It All, Think You Know Fishing, Think You Know Films, Think You Know Music and Think You Know Rugby.   

Whilst the majority of my calendars are bought by the people who love their daily trivia fix, I was quite surprised to discover that a lot of my customers are women buying the calendars as gifts for the sports daft men in their lives.

The icing on the cake came in 2011 when I received a phone call to enquire whether I would be coming to the National Calendar Awards in London (they’re like the Oscars for calendars).  Alysia and I went down, stayed in a lovely hotel and Think You Know Films walked away with one of the main awards.  It was amazing, as I never knew that anyone in the industry had even heard of our little company up in Aberdeenshire.
I really enjoy the freedom of working for myself as I can work around my young family.  When people find out what I do, the normal reaction is where on Earth do you get all your questions from? Well, that is one of the main joys of this job; because as someone who loves sport and current affairs, I get to spend vast chunks of the day, glued to my computer researching everything.  Oh, and whenever Alysia questions why I’m watching the football, she can’t argue when I say it’s for work.  Well, she can and she does, but she shouldn’t!

As for the future, I’ve had another eureka moment, well a mini-one.  I think some of the calendars would make great trivia gift books for Christmas and Father’s Day – all I’ve got to do now is write them and find a publisher - better get going!

Find Glen at his website for information on how to buy calendars during the pre- Christmas run up:

Glen's range of calendars are also on sale from:

Calendar Club Stores and...
Waterstones Outlets  (U.K. wide)
Visit Glen on...

in case you're not very sports minded, or a great music lover, Glen has this one for you....

Thank you for bringing a refreshing change, today, Glen. My very best wishes for a successful Christmas season with your 'Think you know' calendars. I'm pretty sure I bought your football one a couple of Christmases ago in Aberdeen (Scotland), but I'll definitely be on the lookout for some of the 2014 ones very soon!

I recommend that you get your orders in quickly if you want to avoid disappointment.



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