I was supposed to post a nice, colourful blog on here about my wonderful day browsing the super-busy markets in East London last Sunday - I cannot believe that I haven't been to Brick Lane and the Old Truman Brewery for so long! The place has grown so much, it feels as vibrant and exciting as ever. I am so pleased I have set parts of my first novel in the area. I will have to walk around those streets a lot when I research my fourth book, Anti, set both around there and The City.
I might still manage to post something about it in the next few days if I have time, as I really want to link some of the artists and makers we have found there... It's never too late, I guess.
I haven't been doing any writing over the past week even though my 31st August deadline for the first draft of The Book of Thoth is now looking far too close for comfort! I have some work to do - one has to pay the bills - and I have three music reviews to write!
I am hoping to get started again on the book by the end of next week.
A review of I Am a Muse will appear in a special pocket edition of Level 4 Magazine. This is a mini-magazine that will be distributed at the music and arts festival Village Green that takes place in Southend on 13th July...
When I decided to set up Arcane Publishing, I knew close to nothing about the publishing business - only the few bits of information I had gathered as an avid reader, hopeful writer/publisher and whilst working in educational publishing.
In the past 12 months, I have learnt an awful lot. I am getting there, but it is a very steep learning curve!
It doesn't exactly feel like being back to university; there is very little theory involved here; it is mostly practice!
To brush up on the main aspects of independent publishing, I have purchased The Insider's Guide to Independent Publishing published by the Independent Publishers's Guild.
I hope I will be able to become a member one day...
Beforehand, there is so much to learn.
So yesterday I had my first interview as an interviewee...
I was waiting for the journalist inside Waterstones in Southend - unfortunately, we do not have any independent bookshop in town and the nearest one is The Book Inn in Leigh-on-Sea - and having a look at their "NEW BOOKS" section, when my eyes fell on a great cover illustration; then I saw the name Robert McFarlane on it, and so I picked it up. It was a book about South Dorset! The evocative lane on the cover reminded me of the "haunted" lane we followed last September, Common Lane near Corscombe (as described in Louise Hodgson's Secret Places of West Dorset.) I will purchase Holloway in the forthcoming weeks, it sounds fantastic - although it is quite pricey!
In July 2005, Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin travelled to explore the holloways of South Dorset's sandstone. They found their way into a landscape of shadows, spectres and great strangeness.
The interview itself went ok, although I can still hear the sound of my own voice buzzing in my head. Did I say too much? Not enough? Unfortunately, the journalist hadn't had time to read the book and we didn't delve too deep into it, which I guess would have been quite a challenge for me...
I am not sure how the journalist is going to get something together out of my waffle, but I guess doing that is a specific skill, isn't it? Not everyone can be a journalist, despite what the majority of people thinks. So I talked about art, inspiration, I Am a Muse, self-publishing, the English language, education - not in any particular order.
What I like about writing is that you have time to organise your thoughts. When I speak, everything gushes out and I kind of panic. I guess I will learn with time...
The article should be published on Friday 24th May, and I will post a scan on this website. Not too sure whether I am looking forward to it or dreading it...
Today, I was back to The Book of Thoth and I am trying to finish the scene in which appears the mysterious Eye of Horus. Notice the verb "trying" here...
Why does it always take me so long to get back into a book after I've stopped writing for several weeks? I often need one to two days for the flow to start again... Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive!
It's a working Sunday! Designer Matt ArtPix and I have started dealing with the promo for I Am a Muse and there's a lot to do...
Our lounge has been turned into a creative studio!
Business cards ordered (yay!), so now we are polishing the press release and writing down our ideas for bookmarks and an extras booklet.
I have my red paint and my brushes out and I am making some handmade flyers (why not?). We'll see how these come out!
It is all quite exciting and enjoyable...
When I say that Arcane Publishing is a DIY publishing imprint, I do mean it!
What a wonderful talk! Thank you, Amanda Palmer... The standing ovation is very much deserved!
There is a lovely entry on Neil Gaiman's JOURNAL about it...
A real Renaissance man and my dream library!!!
Great video HERE, just simply amazing... So, so inspiring! That's exactly the kind of person I wanted to be when I was thinking about becoming a lecturer and academic (Yes, I almost did become one... But that's another story).
And go and have a look at the article THE 30 BEST PLACES TO BE IF YOU LOVE BOOKS. I am drooling over it!
This is one of the reasons why I can't do e-books. e-books are so incredibly BORING.
Yesterday, I found myself afflicted by a serious bout of writer's block whilst working on The Book of Thoth.
So I ended up doing a bit of research on Alchemy, which, I hoped, would get me started again, as I am in the middle of a scene in which two of the main characters discover the alchemist's secret lab.
The writer's block didn't leave me, but I did find quite an amazing website containing everything you've ever wanted to know about Alchemy.
I can't say I understand everything, but it's actually quite fascinating...
So maybe today, as I open my Word document again, I will find inspiration...
I will have the Alchemy Lab website at the ready!
We had a lovely evening on Friday in the company of journalist and broadcaster Mark Lawson, P. D. James, Jason Webster and Henry Sutton.
They had a lively discussion about crime fiction, told us about their favourite crime fiction books and read from their own works.
I love listening to authors talk about their work and reveal the ideas behind their stories, the way they work, their inspiration... The three authors had three very different personalities, styles, inspirations and ways of working...
I love Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, Laurie R. King's Mary Russell Mysteries and Christopher Fowler's Bryant and May series. I also would love to get my hands on some Mrs Bradley Mysteries by Gladys Mitchell and learn more about The Detection Club...
For me - and I was delighted when P. D. James mentioned this - the setting of the story and the characterisation are the important things: I like to get a sense of the era, a sense of the place - I am not very interested in contemporary detective works, apart from the Bryant and May series, but these have a lot of very original features you do not find in any other detective fiction.
The actual detection work is of very little importance to me at all.
I purchased P. D. James' latest book, Death Comes to Pemberley (very soon to become a BBC TV drama), and got it signed by the great Lady herself. I couldn't help being in awe of the lovely 92-year-old author; what a life she's had!
The exhibition Murder in the Library, an A to Z of Crime Fiction, is on at The British Library until 12 May 2013.
I think therefore I write.
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