"It follows that to continue writing is to accept failure as simply a part of the experience – it's often said that all political lives end in failure, but all writing ones begin there, endure there, and then collapse into senescent incoherence." Will Self
Here's a very interesting article about failure as discussed by seven writers. It's a fascinating and inspiring read - which reminds me of those 10-page essays I used to write for my philosophy classes when I was 17 (oh yes).
FALLING SHORT: SEVEN WRITERS REFLECT ON FAILURE.
I am immersing myself in the writings of Robert MacFarlane at the moment to try and find inspiration for my Dorset-based novel, The Right Place (also on the list is Thomas Hardy of course!).
At the moment, I am reading his fantastic book The Old Ways and some of his journalism. I intend to carry on walking a lot around West Dorset when I stay in the county over the winter to acquaint myself with the intricacies of its ancestral landscape.
I have just finished Mr Macfarlane's excellent recent article "The eeriness of the English countryside" which defines very well what I am attempting to do in The Right Place.
I guess I have touched on the subject already in my first novels I Am a Muse (set in part in north Cornwall) and The Book of Thoth (a full-on Gothic novel located on an isolated estate in Somerset).
It is interesting to see that there is a whole cultural movement at the moment which reconnects with the countryside but avoids the pastoral to make it as exciting a setting as the urban jungle of a metropolis such as London. I am happy to see that one of my all-time favourites PJ Harvey is mentioned - especially as The Right Place is inspired by her music and in particular her song The Wind about St Catherine's Chapel in Abbotsbury.
I found the extracts below to perfectly express the nature of my own work (even though I intend to return to a more urban form of landscape with my fourth novel before yet again escape the concrete jungle by exploring the more rural setting of Exmoor in the fifth book.)
A loose but substantial body of work is emerging that explores the English landscape in terms of its anomalies rather than its continuities, that is sceptical of comfortable notions of “dwelling” and “belonging”, and of the packagings of the past as “heritage”, and that locates itself within a spectred rather than a sceptred isle.
What is under way, across a broad spectrum of culture, is an attempt to account for the turbulence of England in the era of late capitalism. The supernatural and paranormal have always been means of figuring powers that cannot otherwise find visible expression. Contemporary anxieties and dissents are here being reassembled and re-presented as spectres, shadows or monsters: our noun monster, indeed, shares an etymology with our verb to demonstrate, meaning to show or reveal (with a largely lost sense of omen or portent).
Yesterday, Matt ArtPix and Arcane Publishing prepared for our next event: the IACF's Alexandra Palace Antiques and Collectors Fair, one of the biggest antiques fairs in London.
This time, we will only have a single stall (but we're on a corner so can be creative with the space!) and Arcane Publishing will occupy a tiny corner of the space: I will have copies of my books I Am a Muse and The Book of Thoth for sale as well as the amazing 1960s/1970s fashion portfolio I found last year and two rare Picture Post magazines with a pre-fame, fresh-faced Marilyn Monroe on the cover (see more details HERE). I will also promote my forthcoming novel, The Right Place!
Matt will have a selection of his colourful vintage-inspired designs and a great selection of antique and vintage items!
It will probably be the last Ally Pally fair for us before we embark on our new venture, a permanent unit at The Customs House in West bay, starting on 1st August.
At Ally Pally, we will bring some flyers promoting our next events and of course our unit at The Customs House!
23/4/2015 0 Comments
We went back to Dorset last weekend for a flash visit of just three days... We needed a break from the overcrowding and constant house building in the South East, and I was looking for inspiration for my third novel, The Right Place, set in the area. And I did find inspiration! Symondsbury (above as seen from Allington Hill) is definitely going into the novel!
We also went back to The Customs House in West Bay, where we will be opening a unit in August; we had visited back in February when the refurbishment work had just started; The Customs House has now been open for three weeks and it has been a great success, with more sections to open in the future! It is also a great place for events (music, etc.) so watch this space!
We met with two of the managers to discuss logistical stuff such as setting up, stock management, etc.
We were shown the location of our small unit (we will be starting very small. If things take off, we will upgrade to a bigger space within the building!). More about this soon, as we will create a dedicated Facebook page and/or blog with news about our stock, etc. It will be a joint Matt ArtPix and Arcane Publishing venture, so expect loads of colourful art, antiques, carefully selected second-hand books and also a special section dedicated to new fiction published by indie authors and publishing imprints!
This is the space where our unit will be... OK, it takes a lot of imagination, but honestly, it will be there from 1st August!
The Customs House is a historical building owned by English Heritage. It is located at the heart of West Bay literally on the beach... We just cannot wait to set up in August!
Over that weekend, we stayed in the best B&B EVER. The prices are incredibly reasonable (trust a skint writer) and we loved it so much that we are going back in August when we set up the unit! It is the most stupendous place... We don't want to reveal too much about it just in case we need to go back another time (we're selfish like that!)
Let's just say that it is just on my favourite road, the B3157.
We spent our last day in Eype and on Pilsdon Pen. Look at what we left behind when we left in late afternoon...
All pictures @Matt ArtPix
Finally, I have managed to get interview 3 done!
Go HERE to read my interview with independent publisher and author Audrey Snee (who writes under the name Una Rose).
She is the director of Estuary Publishing.
I have linked the Book Talk archive page as Weebly is refusing to upload the interview document to the main Book Talk page.
I will try again later.
The Tokyo Express and Festival of the Gargoyle will be available to purchase at Arcane Publishing's unit at The Customs House in West Bay from August 1st.
I am delighted to announce that my partner in crime Matt ArtPix and I will be taking part in The Salvation Artists event in Leigh-on-Sea on June 27th 2015. There will be art, films, readings and live music!
Matt will showcase a selection of his colourful designs and I will be reading from my published and forthcoming books.
This will be the official launch of Johnny Navarro's novel Kill Devil Delta. I am proud to say that the Arcane Publishing team (ie myself and Matt ArtPix) have helped with the publication of this fantastic book which will be published on June 1st! Matt has designed the cover and typeset the book. It is a thrilling and refreshing read, far, far away from the too often bland and safe volumes churned out by "traditional" publishers. I will have a Book Talk with Johnny about KDD later this spring and will post the interview on this very website when it's all done (hopefully before the event!)
KDD also features Biba Fox's gorgeous illustrations, and she will showcase the pictures at the event. I can't wait to see them all framed!
Crowstone, the band founded by the book's flawed main character, Henry Douanier, will play at the event!
You can listen to some of their tracks HERE. My personal favourite is the haunting Lower Hope Reach; it is simply bewitching!
The Salvation Artists line-up is still being confirmed as we speak, so do check the event's page on Facebook (see below). We also hope to get some posters done nearer the time, so watch this space!
See you there!
LINK TO THE FACEBOOK EVENT HERE.
PS: That weekend, The Leigh Folk Festival takes place in and around Leigh-on-Sea; so if you are coming to our event, you can also enjoy this very popular, crowded and lively event, ALL FOR FREE!
The UK (or at least the media) is in the grip of some kind of General Election fever. The usual parade of bland, waffling politicians (whatever their gender) is fed to an apathetic public.
I predict the lowest participation figures ever.
Last Thursday night, there was a supposedly important election debate on TV. That same evening, we headed to The Electric Ballroom in Camden to see another - and far, far more interesting - kind of political animal: the Slovenian band Laibach. They are one of our favourite live bands, and we were not disappointed: the generous two-hour show was absolutely fabulous.
Laibach's music and visuals are among the sources of inspiration for my fourth novel, Anti.
Here are a few pictures of the night:
Video for Laibach's Eurovision, a track out of the thrilling Spectre album.
Excellent in-depth interview with the band HERE - but it is in French only.
I think therefore I write.
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