Name: Anthony Beresford Dalton
Born 24 July, 1938 in Durban, South Africa
To begin, here is an extract from the 'About the Author' entry at the end of my book:
"Anthony Dalton is a retired advertising executive and award-winning copywriter. His thirty years in the industry were interrupted by seven years' service in the army, where he attained the rank of major. He finished his working career as a marketing consultant to a number of international clients, which resulted in his doing extensive traveling around the world.
Now in his seventies, and married for thirty-six years with three children and seven grandchildren, he continues to see the powerful role that belief in God plays in molding good, strong people, who go on to lead meaningful and enjoyable lives."
This is my first novel, written fifty seven years after a High School aptitude test suggested that a writing career was the route to go… either in journalism or advertising. As my father had spent a few years in advertising, before going off with the 1st South African Division to East Africa in World War II, this gave advertising the nod.
Altogether, I had more than thirty years in advertising, mostly in Southern Africa apart from a couple of years in the United Kingdom. Before I finally retired from active business in 2010 at the age of seventy two, I enjoyed some fifteen post-advertising years as an international marketing consultant. Much of my time was spent travelling to Europe, the UK, the USA, and Taiwan. It was a great experience.
From the age of sixteen, when I was christened, I had followed a low-key, on-off kind of Christian journey, during which I spent time in the Anglican Church, the Church of England in South Africa, and flirted with Catholicism.
Then the nineties internet revolution opened a cornucopia of information and ideas on religion, and the Church's place in it. And my mind took off. However, in spite of being circumspect, I soon found myself swamped by too much material. Worse, many of the authors were earnest and sincere, but hopelessly at odds with one another on key issue after key issue. The deeper I delved, the more troublesome it became.
Then the penny dropped. I was a victim of information overload. I likened my situation to a large bowl of spaghetti. I think you know what I mean. You do a web search on anything. For example, ask for information on 'God', and never-ending strings of information pour onto your desktop. Text files. Pictures. Slides. Videos. You name it.
You know the feeling. You're swamped by the stuff. And spaghetti comes with questions. Where do I begin? Which is the best string to start with? Where does the string take me? Moreover, how do I distinguish it from all the other look-alike stuff it's buried in? Particularly if it is disguised in oodles of colorful and delicious-looking sauce! After a few years, overwhelmed and more confused than ever, it came time to say 'arrivederci' to spaghetti.
To me, there was only one solution. If I wanted to know as much as I could learn about God, where lay the greatest authority? The answer was obvious. In Scripture. I had never spent much time reading the Scriptures. And very little with the Old Testament, especially the books of the Hebrew Tanach.
And so began a long process of discovery. It hasn't finished. I doubt it ever will finish. But at least there is one thing I have learnt. Spaghetti is bad news. It confounds. It confuses. It conceals. It contradicts. And above all, it complicates. In ways that are impossible to unscramble. There is only one way I was able to deal with it. I went back to basics. I went back to source. And then lastly, instead of skimming scripture, I took the time to read it thoroughly, understand it, and absorb it.
It changed my life, so much so, that by the middle of 2011, it seemed right to begin committing to writing those aspects of my new found knowledge. I think of it as "a novel look at God", but actually, it isn't. It was all written well over two thousand years ago. Before slowly being strangled and swamped by spaghetti.
Initially, I intended for my writings to be no more than my way of 'teaching it diligently to my children'; to give them greater insight into my religious beliefs. Especially, as they have changed hugely in the last fifteen years. But my book took nearly nine months to write, and during this time, it steadily dawned on me that it might interest and entertain a wider audience. So I have published it. And here it is.
This member has not published any books.