I am preparing for a big interview next week in London (Yes, 2014 might see the end of my freelance stint) and haven't really had the time to work on my book, my blogs or promotion.
But I would like to remind everyone that I will have a stall at Old Spitalfields market alongside my partner in crime Matt ArtPix this Saturday 2nd August, 11am-5pm. We will be in the So Vintage London bit of the market!
We'll have art, books and vinyls! Come and see us - and have a look at our great stock (some items that will be on my stall are featured on the Arcane Publishing blog).
Unfortunately, it looks like The Book of Thoth has now slipped behind schedule; I might not have the printed copies with me before November. This is a shame but I really want to make sure I publish the best book I can... Still quite a few amendments to make...
I hope to have some nice blogs to write for you over August, but I will not be able to post the fabulous report from the ALT-FEST festival I had in mind; it has been cancelled and is now the subject of a huge Twitter/Facebook storm. We are very very sad indeed about the demise of what promised to be the best and biggest Alternative festival this country has ever seen with a lot of bands we love plus some fantastic art installations and performances.
As we had booked a lovely hotel for the event, we will still go away and make the most of our time in the area (which I don't know at all!). We were so excited about it, it is a huge disappointment, but my heart really goes out to the organisers whose dream is now in tatters.
Having just finished Christopher Fowler's latest Bryant and May, The Bleeding Heart (thoroughly recommended!), I carry on with detective novels and will be starting The Red House Mystery today. This is A.A.Milne's only detective novel (he is best known for being the creator of Winnie-the-Pooh!).
I will be studying detective novels a little bit more over the next few years as I might venture into the genre for my fifth novel which will be a rural noir story set on Exmoor and featuring a detective called Barton Stacey!
But I have two more books to write before I get to this one...
Yesterday, Matt ArtPix finished the typesetting of The Book of Thoth. Now it's my turn to read through and make a few corrections and adjustments.
Matt ArtPix will now finish off the cover design and we hope to have everything ready to go to the printers around 25th September after our much deserved holiday! We are on schedule, and it is getting very exciting!
Also, the book looks terrific! I really cannot wait to be able to get it out there into the big wide world...
I have been preparing the Arcane Publishing stock ahead of the next event I'll be attending: So Vintage London at Old Spitalfields market on 2nd August. I have added Tommy, the movie, by The Who (1975, French import). More details about this item HERE.
Here is a quick update on what's happening with the books!
I will be taking I Am a Muse to various events in the next six months, mostly selling copies of the book on my second-hand/vintage book stall. The list of events can be found on the EVENTS PAGE on Arcane Publishing's website. The list is being updated regularly, so keep checking!
Matt ArtPix is typesetting The Book of Thoth and the first completed PDF should come to me in within the next week or so. Then I'll have to check things over, adjust bits and pieces, and check the second PDF, etc. until we get the content finalised!
Half the cover has been done (see above), so work will be required on this - Matt ArtPix's job again!
We hope to have everything ready to go to the printer by 25th September - after our fortnight in Dorset! Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!
And then today, I am starting working again on my third book, The Right Place, set in Dorset and inspired by PJ Harvey's song, The Wind.
I started work on this book during my week-long Culture lab course at Metal Southend in October 2012 and read the opening pages at the Shorelines Literary festival in November 2013 (you can read them HERE).
This project had been pushed to one side while I finished The Book of Thoth, but now that TBOT is being typset, I can go back to The Right Place and throw myself in it properly (plot, research, etc.).
I have a few characters already that need defining and refining and a few plot lines, but things are still pretty vague. I want the inspiring landscape of the county to play an important part in the plot, and I'd like to give the book an atmosphere of mystery and an edge that will make it stand out. A genteel book about rural idyll it won't be!
In the forthcoming days, I will also work on the brief I will send artist Sam Cannon who has agreed to illustrate the cover. It's going to look amazing!
The main obstacle for this project is lack of funds. I will need to spend quite some time in Dorset in order to write in a quiet environment surrounded by the landscape that is such an important part of the book, but accommodation costs a lot of money. I am still not sure how things will turn out, but we live in hope!
Here's the (provisional) blurb for The Right Place - some elements in it might change:
Catherine (Kat) Moorhouse is a quiet, mature fourteen year-old girl. She was only a baby when her mother, a musicologist from New Zealand, died in a car crash on a research trip. She has lived with her widowed journalist father in New York, Edinburgh and London.
After a vicious bullying campaign that has left her seriously shaken and heart-broken, Kat is relieved when her father decides to move to Dorset for an indefinite period of time. The young girl soon feels at ease in her new environment and falls in love with the county’s ancestral landscape. She is particularly drawn to St Catherine’s chapel in Abbotsbury, with which she shares her name. One evening, on Chapel Hill, she meets a mysterious woman, also called Catherine, who works as a “life assistant” to a local elderly aristocrat, Ronald Sinclair. The origins of Lord Sinclair’s family are rather dubious and are the stuff of legend in the area.
As her relationship with Catherine develops, Kat finds herself at the same time fascinated and repulsed by her new friend and understands that nothing is what it seems in this idyllic part of England…
Last Saturday, I worked at Village Green, Southend's ever expanding music and arts festival in Southend. It was a rather fab and exhausting day. I admit to feeling something akin to my wristbands (below) on the Sunday: a bit crumpled and battered; but I am really pleased to have been part of it.
There are pros and cons about working at an event: you get sucked up in the intensity of it and are surrounded by talented people the whole day, BUT you do not get to see much...
I didn't mind one bit though, as I was exactly where I wanted to be anyway: the Dragnet tent, the 40s crime/mystery/literary tent curated by authors Syd Moore, Travis Elborough and Cathi Unsworth.
I feel very privileged indeed to have spent the whole day surrounded by so many inspiring, inspired and talented writers and musicians who were clearly passionate about what they were doing - and yes, my antisocial tendencies have been challenged big time, but one has to try!
Everything went smoothly and the atmosphere was really friendly and relaxed. During the breaks, we were entertained by great retro music spinned for us by Travis Elborough and Max Décharné.
As I was kept busy the whole day and could only catch one or two minutes of the talks and readings here and there - although thankfully, I managed to catch the whole of the Sohemian Society Players' play and of The Cesarians' set - this blog will be dominated by images rather than words.
Someone mentioned the inside of the beautiful tent as looking like a church with its stained-glass windows - and indeed it did! Someone else - I think it was our very efficient stage manager Jo Tyler - mentioned it as being "a little oasis of calm" in the middle of the frenzy of the big event!
An oasis of calm indeed on the surface - the Dragnet tent resonated the whole day with the tales of bygone mysteries, murderous deeds and shady characters...
Here are Cathi and Travis starting off the proceedings with a discussion about crime fiction and the seaside.
The poet Benedict Newbery went back in time in verse...
Anna Whitwham read the opening chapter of her gritty debut novel, Boxer Handsome, and talked to Ann Scanlon.
The very charismatic Max Décharné took the audience on a journey from the pages of classic pulp fiction books to Noir movies.
I purchased his book "Straight From the Fridge, Dad" from the bookshop next door and got it signed, nice!
Also from the bookshop stalls, my partner in crime Matt Artpix acquired some great pulp fiction books!
Back on stage, Lilian Puzzichini discussed outcasts and memoirs with Travis Elborough.
The Sohemian Society Players (Duncan Bolt, Emma Brown and Callum Coates) enchanted us with "A Drop of Tea with Acid", a murder mystery written by Marc-Henri Glendening and delivered with glee in perfect retro BBC accents. An extra layer of atmosphere was added by violinist Sophie Loyer.
A real delight!
At the end of the day, I rescued a worse for wear script of the play that had been abandoned in the Green Room...
I am keeping it in my archives (and I'm going to read it properly too of course!).
I love this picture! Syd Moore is sadly missing here, but she was busy doing all the press for Village Green!
Paul Willetts, in conversation with Marc Glendening, described how 1940s London was quite different to the one we imagine with our rose-tinted 21st century nostalgia - it was full of gangs!
Outside the tent, we came across Captain Blackadder - who was giving out flyers for the run of Blackadder Goes Forth at the Palace Theatre later this month!
Back inside, Mark Pilkington and Syd Moore took us to meet Essex witches and the perverse Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins.
Here are Iain Sinclair and Cathi Unsworth deep in conversation!
If you want your music to have a sense of drama, great lashings of panache, a seductive and self-destructive edge and you don't mind treading on the dark side of the human psyche, then you should see The Cesarians live.
They really gave everything they had on Saturday and absolutely rocked the Dragnet tent with their unique blend of demonic rock'n'roll cabaret - singer Charlie Finke did look possessed - creating the perfect collision between intellect, modernity, rawness and old-fashioned sophistication and decadence. I had seen them in London before, but this performance inside that Dragnet tent really was something.
This first Dragnet was a pilot for a potential weekender next year. This mixture of vintage crime, literature and music, mystery, noir references and shadowy goings-on is a winning formula; we therefore demand more!
(All pictures by Carya Gish)
I am off to carry on reading Christopher Fowler's "The Bleeding Heart", the latest in his terrific Bryant and May series. Will London's most unlikely pair of ageing detectives make an appearance at the next Dragnet? One can only speculate!
A new, very special item has now been added to the Arcane Publishing's stock.
This is the story "L'Oiseau du Nord et l'Oiseau du Sud" / "The Snow Bird and the Sun Bird" narrated by Grace Kelly of Monaco! This is a bilingual vinyl from 1970, recorded by Grace of Monaco, formerly movie star Grace Kelly in two languages, French and English. There is also the illustrated book of the story in both languages; the images are by prolific Belgian artist Nadine Forster (linked article is in French).
This comes from my personal collection.
This is a genuinely lovely item that will enchant any story-loving child and adult!
Find it on my stall at So Vintage London at Old Spitalfields market on 2nd August!
I'm delighted to say that we have now confirmed a few more events...
Saturday 12th July
Copies of I Am a Muse will be available to buy at the bookshop outside the Dragnet tent at the Village Green festival. I will be inside taking care of the artists and audience!
Saturday 2nd August
So Vintage London at Old Spitalfields market, London
Saturday 4th October
Southend Book and Arts Fair
We are looking at booking some more events!
For details about all events, please go to the Arcane Publishing Events Page HERE.
I think therefore I write.
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