Matt ArtPix has been hard at work on Part I of The Book of Thoth, trying things out... It does look good... A few tweaks required but we're there, really! I am extremely pleased with the look of it!
I was lucky enough this weekend to get my hands on a copy of the Harmsworth Magazine, volume V (it covers August 1900-January 1901). It is absolutely amazing. There's fiction and reports, all illustrated with wonderful Black and white illustrations and photography, quite astonishing for the times!
Here's an in-depth article about the magazine.
In other news, The Book of Thoth typesetting is being delayed a bit but we hope to catch up soon! It looks like the official pub date might be postponed to early 2015, but I still hope to get the physical books here with me by December this year to take to one or two fairs...
Talking of fairs, Arcane Publishing have now announced our next event, it will be So Vintage London at Old Spitalfields Market, London, on July 5th 2014!
We are working on booking some more events, a few to confirm before we announce them... Autumn is going to be busy!
Read my interview with poet and indie publisher Steve Pottinger HERE. It's a great read, I promise!
My first novel, I Am a Muse, features a dead painter and his muse. I will most certainly go and see Mike Leigh's Mr Turner when it is released in the UK in October, it looks fabulous. (lovely review HERE - I loved Topsy-Turvy, the Gilbert and Sullivan film mentioned in the article!).
See the trailer below!
I am absolutely thrilled to present to you the first in my interview series, "Book Talk".
And what a way to get started! an absolutely thrilling interview with the very talented Jordan Reyne, whose first novel, Remembering The Dead, is out now.
What began as a "Book talk" became something else altogether. Really, really interesting.
Subjectivity in the way we interpret history - very fitting with the current debate surrounding WW1 "celebrations" - as well as philosophy, music, the fluidity of language(s), writing, self-publishing, storytelling, surviving...
It's all in there and more.
Thank you Jordan for giving us such in-depth answers to my questions!
READ JORDAN REYNE: REMEMBERING THE DEAD
There is a review of I Am a Muse in issue 2 of V&OAK magazine, a new glossy independently put together in Colchester by a team of talented and hard-working people. V&OAK stands for "vintage and one of a kind".
I am very happy with the review, and it was a surprise to find out that the article took a whole page in the "Culture" section. The review does highlight the main topics in the book. It didn't start well, though, and I have a slight issue with the following sentence: [talking about Constance] "An elite events planner, her story begins along a similar vein to your typical chick-lit narrative of an independent woman stuck in a love triangle with two different yet disposable men."
WHAAAAT? "CHICK-LIT"? *Hits head on wall*.
Believe me, this is absolutely NOT chick-lit. I most certainly do not write for women but for everyone who loves reading. I do not tackle "women's issues", and at no point in my book do I say that the men are disposable! Constance is a single, working individual in London who has affairs, shares a house when she'd prefer not to, and tries to keep her head above water.
Constance is not an "elite events planner", but the manager of an arts and media centre inspired by the iconic Tea Building in Shoreditch where artists and start-ups hire space and units. She also runs a monthly club night inspired by the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
But I "forgive" the reviewer, because the rest of the article is beautifully written and rather spot on (and she corrects herself about the chick-lit tag too in some way!).
OK, and seeing my picture rather big on there was a bit of a shock... You can see you're no longer in the fashion section!
My partner in crime Matt ArtPix also had a little feature in the magazine about his design work.
And both Arcane Publishing and Matt ArtPix advertised in the mag!
There is a review of my debut novel, I Am a Muse, in issue 2 of the new biannual vintage fashion and culture glossy, V&OAK (VINTAGE AND ONE OF A KIND).
Independently produced in Colchester, this magazine is a must for all fans of vintage, vintage-inspired and retro.
I have to say that I was very surprised - and yes, very pleased - to find that the review took up a whole page in the "Culture" section! And it was a bit of a shock to see my picture so big too...After all, it's all about the book...
Overall, I am very, very pleased with the review, which describes the topics tackled in the book pretty well, with a good style.
It didn't start well, though.
There is only one bit of the article I have a slight issue with: talking about Constance, the reviewer says: "An elite events planner, her story begins along a similar vein to your typical chick-lit narrative..."
WHAAAAT? "CHICK-LIT"? *Hit head on the wall*. No bloody way, I say.
I did cringe when I saw it...
Believe me, this is no chick-lit, and I most certainly do not write for women but for everyone who likes reading!
Constance is just a single, rather flamboyant person who lives in London and works hard, has affairs, has housemates, doubts and hopes...
My character is not an "elite events planner" either. She manages an arts and media centre in Shoreditch inspired by the Tea Building - artists and start-ups rent units to work in - and runs a monthly club night inspired by the legendary Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
But I happily "forgive" the writer, because the rest of the review is rather spot on and beautifully written - and she changes her mind about the chick-lit tag!
Go to the "Review and press" section of this website toread a few more reviews from readers and some features and reviews from a few magazines and newspapers.
There is also a small article about my partner Matt ArtPix in the same issue of the magazine. He is a designer and has his own little venture. He also works on all the Arcane Publishing books and promo material!
I'm very busy these days. Things are moving fast and a lot needs to be done. I am just glad freelance work has dried up this month so I can get on with stuff (Ok, no money in, but we won't panic just yet!).
I still need to promote Book 1, I Am a Muse, and my imprint and bookselling venture, Arcane Publishing. More on that later this week I hope, I am waiting for something to come in to share it with you on this blog.
I should also be able to tell you more about some forthcoming events and ideas! Watch this space...
By the way, talking about I Am a Muse: Steve Pottinger, the poet and publisher who created the independent imprint Ignite Books and who so generously shared publishing tips with me and typeset I Am a Muse last year, is on the BBC news website because of a letter he had written to Caffe Nero about their tax-evasion tactics (someone has done some research about it, see the results HERE). Steve is a very passionate and eloquent speaker who deserves your attention. He will be appearing at quite a few events over the next few months, so try to go and see him! All dates HERE.
The manuscript of book number 2, The Book of Thoth, is now finished. Draft 4 was completed yesterday and I am giving it a quick once-over this afternoon. I am quite pleased with it, it is definitively the book I wanted to write. I could probably fiddle with it for another six months or so but time is running out: publication date is December 2014 and I would like to have the freshly printed books piled up in my lounge by the end of September latest.
The manuscript is now going to Matt ArtPix who will be designing the cover and typesetting the whole book. No pressure, then!
I am now turning my attention once more to The Right Place, which will be book number 3. I wrote the opening chapter during my week-long Culture Lab "On Writing Fiction" at Metal in October 2012 and read an updated version of it at the Shorelines literary festival last November.
Now is time to start the next phase of my research: I need to build up the back story, plan the plot, etc. Unfortunately, my Arcane Publishing funds are severely depleted and will be even more so once The Book of Thoth has been printed (it is a big book!).
I hope to find a solution to this state of affairs in the forthcoming months and keep the ball rolling!
I love using boards. I pin anything I think will help me put the book together: pictures, notes, postcards, maps, ideas, etc. The one I have for The Right Place only has the two pictures above on it; I pinned them this morning. The images come from The Sunday Times Magazine's Spectrum section. They are part of Italian photographer Marina Rosso's project "The Beautiful Gene". Kat Moorhouse, one of the main characters, is a red-haired girl. I'd like to inject a bit of Pre-Raphaelite beauty into the book...
Another character in The Right Place will be the Dorset landscape and its relationship with the people who inhabit it. The book might not feature any straightforward supernatural phenomenon like The Book of Thoth, but the mythical and mystical qualities of the countryside there will definitively have a strong influence on the story.
I cannot wait to get started!
There is a small review of the Shorelines literary festival written by yours truly in issue 16 of Southend's cultural magazine, Level 4 (my long report from the festival can be found HERE).
This should have been a printed magazine, but unfortunately the editor didn't receive enough advertising revenue to pay for the printing. The magazine is available to read online HERE.
There are quite a few interesting articles in there so make sure you go and have a read!
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!
I think therefore I write.
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