So last weekend was supposed to be a very rock'n'roll weekend indeed, that of the awesome Alt-Fest festival. We were getting ready to enjoy three full days of art and music, with the most fabulous line-up. We were looking forward to seeing some of our favourite artists play there and to checking out some exciting new acts.
After a two-year wait, we were absolutely gutted when the event was cancelled barely two weeks before the festival was due to take place. [for anyone interested in the ins and outs of what has gone wrong, go HERE].
We had booked a gorgeous hotel called Hawthorn House Hotel in the town of Kettering (the festival was supposed to take place at the nearby Boughton estate).
We needed a break anyway; we are very versatile people with a wide range of interests, and so instead of cancelling the hotel, we kept the booking and spent a lovely resting weekend visiting the area. Read Matt ArtPix's blog about it HERE (and there are some great pictures too!).
We did go and have a look at Boughton House (from the road).
It was a fabulous spot for a festival, trust me...
It is so very sad to think about what could have been if things had been handled better...
Here's the official poster for the next event Arcane Publishing will be attending: The Southend Book and Arts fair at the wonderful Forum, which is Southend award-winning shiny new library and art gallery.
Arcane Publishing will have a stall next to their designer Matt ArtPix, and will be concentrating on entertainment, young readers, fantasy and sci-fi (more details about our stock will be revealed before the event!)
I will be there, selling copies of my first novel I Am a Muse at the special event price of £6 (instead of RRP of £7.99) and I will be promoting my next novel, The Book of Thoth, to be published later this autumn (unfortunately, it will be not printed on time for the fair!). I am really looking forward to it!
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.
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…
I think therefore I write.
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