After two wonderful weeks in Dorset during which I have spent most of my time outside walking and discovering yet more gorgeous hidden gems of this most beautiful of counties, I am back at my desk sorting out my "to do" lists (yes, there are several ones...).
I will post a few Dorset pictures on here soon.
Before I left, I did a bit of research for my third book, The Right Place, which will be set in Dorset. One of the background topics of the novel will be smuggling in the county, and I read that the best book about this subject is Roger Guttridge's Dorset Smugglers.
I hastened to find out more about this volume and discovered that it was out of print. What a disappointment. Then imagine my joy when on my last day in Dorset, I got my hand on a first edition at the Dorchester Curiosity Centre! What incredible luck indeed! I was feeling very depressed about leaving but this find definitively help me through the drive home...
It has absolutely everything you need to know about smuggling activity in the county!
I will soon know everything there is to know about smugglers in Dorset!
I am particularly interested in the area around Abbotsbury where I will set my book.
Isaac Gulliver, "King of Smugglers", is the inspiration behind one of my characters' ancestor! There is quite a bit about him in the book!
I cannot wait to get started properly on the book... First, there's novel number 2 to publish. I am on 3rd proofs now, nearly there!
Corrections of the second proofs of The Book of Thoth have been done! Now it's back to the typesetter, Matt ArtPix! Almost there!
We are taking two weeks off from the end of this week, then we will tackle the back cover design and get everything ready for the printers... Exciting times!
So the first proofs of The Book of Thoth are back with Matt ArtPix. I now have to wait for the corrections to be done to check them. Then we will need to finalise the cover and prepare the documents for the printers. We are still planing on sending the book to the printers in early October to have the copies of The Book of Thoth on time for our November events. I cannot wait to see the printed books.
I can now turn my attention to my third book, The Right Place.
For several reasons, I have decided against applying for an Arts Council Grant - which I probably wouldn't have obtained anyway, and will therefore have to finance the project myself.
I have done a draft publishing schedule for the book, but lack of funds might mean that this will have to be amended. As it stands, I am aiming for a pub date of November 2017 (!). This is the optimistic one, by the way...
I have given myself plenty of time to think, read and plan, with "proper writing" only supposed to start next summer - but I need to be in Dorset for that, so we will see how things pan out then.
Still, you can read the opening pages of the book HERE, written during the week-long Creative Lab: On Writing Fiction at Metal Southend. That's the first chapter done!
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!
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…
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.
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 think therefore I write.
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