In September, I will read an extract of my second novel, The Book of Thoth, at a gathering of local artists and writers.
This would be the third reading I've ever done.
I have an issue with public speaking. Hell, I am a writer, after all, happy being alone in my corner. I could spend days on end not talking to anyone and it wouldn't bother me.
But these days, if you are a writer, readings are an integral part of the job, so I cannot get out of it. I will get used to it, I guess.
I always tell myself that it cannot be worse than trying to teach a class of 35 brats as I did when I was a teacher. Still. It hasn't cured me from my loathing of public speaking!
I have now selected six extracts of the book, and I will ask Matt ArtPix to help me get down to THE ONE.
Dickens was famously excellent at giving readings. I could try and emulate him, I guess...
A very short update on here. I am not posting a lot these days, but this doesn't mean that nothing is happening!
Arcane Publishing is booking events where you will be able to buy copies of I Am a Muse (and hopefully from November, copies of my second novel, The Book of Thoth).
I will also be selling some fab second-hand books; my stock is growing and is now really varied to cater for different tastes and ages!
Please check the Arcane Publishing Blog and Events Page for regular updates!
I have just finished the corrections on the first proofs of The Book of Thoth. These will be passed on to our typesetter Matt ArtPix over the next few days.
TBOT should be going to print no later than mid-October and make a appearance at our November and December fairs!
I am so very excited about it.
In early September, I will be spending two weeks in Dorset to recharge my batteries and research my third novel, The Right Place.
I hope to start work on it in earnest this autumn.
I haven't posted any music/museum related blogs for a while, this is because I have been concentrating on getting The Book of Thoth edited. The culture vulture in me always does the opposite of animals and goes into hibernation during the summer to emerge from its lair, all wide-eyed and raring to go, in September.
(You almost had a series of outrageous music posts, but as I have mentioned before, the Alt-Fest festival has been cancelled and therefore, our planned music binge is not happening...)
But as usual in the autumn, my list of gigs and exhibitions to go to is growing by the minute, and I will be attending quite a few events between September and December, so expect regular blogs full of culture over the autumn/winter season!
I also hope to add to my Book Talk series of author/publisher interviews...
Watch this space!
I had a great day at So Vintage London at Old Spitalfields market yesterday. The truth is that this is probably my favourite market!
The logistics are incredibly easy (get into car/A13/arrive), you get a buzz the whole day because you are in the middle of that fabulous city that is London.
The Arcane Publishing/Matt ArtPix pitch was fantastic, with a lot of space to get creative with our tables and create a colourful and attractive stall. We had changed the layout of the stalls and we had tweaked our stock - and we had a lot of interest, people really looked and browsed and even asked us when we'd be back, which is fantastic.
Unfortunately, I cannot post any pictures of the day as I HAD FORGOTTEN MY CAMERA! But trust me, the stalls looked fab.
I now need to stock up on more books about vintage fashion and classic icons - my "Marilyn Monroe in fashion" book lasted less than an hour on the stall!
We hope to be back at Old Spitalfields market on November 1st (we booked some holidays and a local event ages ago for September and October!).
But I have been discussing the possibility of getting a monthly slot at Old Spitalfields with Matt ArtPix in order to build up an audience/custom from 2015. Watch this space!
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.
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.
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!
We had a great day last Saturday at So Vintage London at Old Spitalfields market...
We will be back there on 2nd August!
On the left is our I Am a Muse display!
You can read more about it and see more pictures of our stall and stock on the Arcane Publishing website HERE.
I think therefore I write.
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