Arrived in the post today: the "Crone" EP, which is the first release of Jordan Reyne's new project, the Maiden, Mother, [CRONE] trilogy, complete with personalised messages and signed too! Always nice!
I have raved about Jordan's music before on here (you can read a review of her latest album, The Annihilation Sequence HERE) and therefore I am thrilled that she is working on yet another new project.
Jordan is also a writer and I hope to be able to post an author interview with her soon on this very website, which will be gaining a new section in the forthcoming weeks. This has been delayed a bit, but I really want to build up a series of author/publisher interviews on my website over the forthcoming months...
I know, I know...
I am still working on the editing of Book number two, I have written only one chapter of Book number three and I haven't really done any work at all on Book number four...
And then up pops the idea for Book number five!
After an animated conversation in the car with Matt ArtPix - those pesky creative couples, always bouncing ideas off each other all the time! - whilst on our way back from Devon, here's what I have come up with: a Hound of The Baskervilles-inspired vintage mystery set on moody Exmoor, with a rural detective named Barton Stacey - it is the name of a parish in Hampshire. When my partner saw it on the map, he decided here and there that it was the perfect name for a detective! I have no idea whatsoever whether I can pull it off or not. I want it to be a bit outrageous, a bit humorous (can I do humour?) and we'll have a cover inspired by vintage classic detective novels...
I have my work schedule sorted for the next ten years, I think!
And so I am back from my fortnight in Dorset, more convinced than ever that it is the right place for me. My heart absolutely broke when I left, but made me all the more determined to work hard in order to finally be able to move there. If you want to know why, then go and have a look at Matt ArtPix's amazing PICTURE BLOG with some of the pictures he took during our fortnight in Dorset...
I have brought back with me some amazing treasures, not least a lot of energy and inspiration for the next few months, which will be all about developing Arcane Publishing and its publishing schedule, finishing the first draft of The Book of Thoth - and working on the follow-up drafts - preparing my appearance at the Shorelines Festival in November and planning ahead for 2014, the year in which Arcane Publishing and Matt ArtPix will be trading in London more often.
There will be a series of Dorset blogs in the next few days and weeks.
This one is a quick one showing some of the amazing things I have got my hands on during my time away... Some will be for sale, some I will keep...
1968 Fashion portfolio:
My wallet suffered a blow, but I just couldn't leave these behind.
This is the portfolio belonging to a fashion student who studied at the West Sussex College of Art in 1968 - there is a dated project brief included in the pile of sketches. I have googled the name of the student, but couldn't find anything, unfortunately... I would love to know whether she succeeded in her fashion career!
The portfolio covers evening wear, day wear, coats, pyjamas, suits... It is absolutely extraordinary in its detail: most pages feature a detailed description of the garments and some even have the sample material stapled to the paper.
If a fashion designer got it, they would be able to produce a whole - genuine! - 1968 collection... It is truly fascinating...
There are 120 pages of sketches! (Click on the pictures to enlarge).
Part of the pile was also a scrapbook - supposedly from the same fashion student - with fabulous fashion pictures taken from 60s/70s magazines.
And now onto books:
A fine first English edition (1977) of Rita Hayworth: The Time, The Place and The Woman by the legendary John Kobal. It is signed in the year of publication!
My personal favourite: a gorgeous 1920 sheet music... I didn't find a lot about it - just THIS.
A lovely 1979 illustrated biography of PG Wodehouse.
Some great film annuals (1958 and 1949 respectively!)
Edith Sitwell's autobiography (1965, I think I have a first edition!)
The promotional magazine for the ITV hit series Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978).
So on Saturday, I am off to my favourite place, Dorset!
Two weeks away from the overcrowded South East...
I am going there to rest and recharge my batteries, but also to research my third novel, The Right Place.
I am trying to get a proper feel of the place, and I would like to find somewhere to stay and write next autumn, when I hope to start working in earnest on the book. The small cottage we always book might be a solution, but it is near Dorchester and I still haven't started driving again after all these years; I am therefore looking for something in Abbotsbury (or as near as possible!).
I am half way into The Game and I am enjoying it immensely, as I've enjoyed all the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes' mystery novels I've read so far. This series is absolutely fantastic, and I don't really understand why/how this hasn't been made into a TV series. It would be an absolute hit (if well made, of course)!
This book is about walking the sunken paths in south Dorset, so I cannot give it a miss...
Dorset's "literary celebrity". I've fallen in love with his county, I've been to his birthplace, now I have to read a bit more of his work!
The title says it all! A 1922 first edition just purchased last weekend!
New Model Army, one of my favourite bands. Not only for their music, but also for their poetic lyrics and their strong values, which I share.
A fabulous special edition put together by rock mag Vive Le Rock. Some great stuff in there, loads to read.
So what do you do if you are the richest artist - read "rather talentless self-publicist trying his best to cash in on his pseudo-controversial reputation" - in Britain with your heydays firmly behind you but a bulging bank account (or two?)?
You buy yourself a town.
Or at least, this is what it's starting to feel like with Damien Hirst and Ilfracombe, in North Devon.
I wrote about the quite horrid Verity in a previous blog; Hirst has also owned a restaurant on Quay Road, Number 11, The Quay, since 2000. Now, he has got his hands on no less than four properties in the harbour (the lovely Driftwood gallery, the first in a series of art galleries to open under the same name in the South West, is having to relocate somewhere else in town), and is also planning a - yes, of course, controversial! - housing estate in the fields opposite the Tesco supermarket (more on this HERE).
It looks like councillors have been dragging their feet, but don't fret, Hirst will triumph in the end. Money - and celebrity - talks, and Ilfracombe has been in dire need of regeneration since the railway was scrapped in 1970.
True, Hirst could be seen as some kind of "saviour", although things are not as simple as it seems (see HERE for an interesting comment on the situation).
Most certainly, something seems to be happening: art galleries are popping up everywhere around the town, and the pub chain Wetherspoon is building a - completely inappropriate - "futuristic" establishment (they have pulled down the wonderful old hotel that used to stand there!).
On the up side, one of the new galleries is located on the high street and is definitely worth a visit: the Jessica Dove gallery (a good write-up about the gallery can be found HERE). Set up by a former artist and art teacher who was born in the town before going to live and work in London, the gallery is bright and packed full of very interesting works. I particularly loved the sculptures by Jessica's husband, Stanley Dove, and my new favourite sculptor, Philip Wakeham - see his work on his Beautiful If Oblique website. His sculptures are simply stunning; they have a delicate, mythical, haunting quality. Perfect inspiration for a novel!
More on Ilfracombe and North Devon in the forthcoming days.
Now is time to get back into things after a few days away!
At last, I've managed to listen to the first episode of Radio 4's The Sins of Literature in full.
Two more to go! Episode two is tonight.
It's blooming fascinating.
I think therefore I write.
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