Is it ever too late to change jobs and careers? It is never too late to consider changing jobs/careers, many people have successfully done this. It is obviously a big step to take and there are many considerations to take into account such as finance, family, prospects etc. But if you are confident that you can overcome any challenges a whole new world awaits you!

What’s your advice for people who crave a career change but don’t know where to start? Contact your local FE college for general courses or land-based college if you’re thinking of a career change into the land-based world. Most colleges have a diverse range of prospectuses and open days throughout the year when you can go and talk about careers and courses and finance. They are only a telephone call away!

Are there ‘tasters’ of courses available to trial before taking the plunge? Plumpton College, along with most other colleges, offers free taster days for students especially for those still at school.

Are qualifications essential? The entry qualifications for each course are set out in each college prospectus. The qualifications needed vary considerably, depending on the particular course and the level of the course, but it will be explained within the prospectus or you can discuss this with a member of college staff. 

Can you re-take certain GCSEs and A-levels? Plumpton College, along with all other colleges, will encourage students to retake GCSEs and A-levels where necessary.

What are some of the more unusual courses you offer? As a land-based college we offer courses which are very different from a normal FE college and these include an extensive range of Wine courses, Fishery Management, Equine Dentistry, Beekeeping, Dairy Processing, Introduction to Mobile Sawmilling, Canoe and Kayak Training, Jewellery Making, Working with Harness Horses, Web Design for Rural Micro Businesses, Dog Agility, Veterinary Receptionists CPD, to name just a few.

Tell us a little about yourself… Writer, occasional actor, teacher of LAMDA and Public Speaking, I live in Hawkhurst with my wife Julie (another teacher and glass artist) and any or all of our six children/stepchildren, depending upon the season. When not lurking in coffee shops, I am enslaved both to the garden and our ever-changing fourteen-mile view over the Weald.

What were you doing before you decided to take up writing – have you always been creative? Some have suggested I’m a bit of a Renaissance Man. The less charitable view is that I can’t settle to anything that earns real money. Careers so far have included bookselling/publishing, humorous book illustration, music teaching, accountancy (payroll clerk at the Palace Theatre – I ask you!), the acting lark (www.timbartholomew.co.uk), drama/voice teaching at Buckswood School, individual French lessons and, most recently, novel-writing.

Why did you pick up a pen? Because of my instinct to show off and entertain: to make people laugh or cry – or both. As an actor, to entertain is fleeting, but a writer can immortalise absurd and outrageous situations as well as mad, irritating or delightful characters. Also, writing can be therapeutic: some of the incidents in my book Lessons in Humiliation are taken from life and needed to be shared – especially the story of finding my birth mother.

Why did you decide to attend drama school rather later in life, has it helped your new career? In 1993, I ‘performed’ Mrs Crusoe in a Benenden Players spectacular, deciding that a) this was the best fun since school and b) to attend drama college. Much of my novel is devoted to thespian misadventure.

What’s next? The sequel is nearly finished and Agent P (my theatrical representative on Earth, he who so heavily features in the book) is making noises vis approaching a screenwriter. After all, Hollywood loves an eccentric comedy set in the British middle-classes. The pigs, however, are still on the runway.

Lessons in Humiliation is available for £8.99 in paperback from Waterstones, and online from Troubador Books and Amazon. There’s also a Kindle version. Contact Tim directly for signed copies, talks to book clubs, illustration work, public speaking or French conversation lessons – or anything else ­– via his website: www.timothyedwardauthor.co.uk.

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