Today, I am sorting our my study and preparing to get started on Book 3, The Right Place. I will probably start on research and planning around mid-June, after I've finished sorting out a few admin issues... I am still thinking about the ways I could fund this release... I cannot wait to get started as it is set in one of my favourite places, Dorset... An excuse to spend more time in that wonderful county!
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get permission to print the lyrics of PJ Harvey's The Wind in the book (nobody answers... probably not interested in a small imprint!) *sigh*.
Typesetting work on The Book of Thoth should start in June too...
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!
I now have an author page on the Squid Publishing Inc website! I am thrilled to be in such good company: Ignite Books, Steve Pottinger and Joolz Denby are on there as well!
Draft 4 of The Book of Thoth has been a bit neglected today but I am now going back to it!
I have just uploaded a new extract of The Book of Thoth to the BOOK'S PAGE. It is not the same one as the previous extract; I have chosen the section in which Adam and Dimitri discover Vangelis Chronos's secret laboratory... Enjoy!
I know that after having blogged quite a lot over the past few weeks, it's all gone quiet. This doesn't mean nothing is happening backstage!
I am working on one or two things to do with The Book of Thoth but won't put any detail on here - if I pull this off, then I'll blog about it, if not then I'll keep quiet...
In the meantime, as I have mentioned before, Arcane Publishing and Matt ArtPix are taking a break from fairs and markets. We need to think our promotional strategy through and decide what our next move is going to be!
My partner in crime (and everything else!) Matt ArtPix is working on a new series of images, Southend postcards... He regularly posts updates about the designs, so head to his blog to read more about it!
I had a great day yesterday with Matt ArtPix at the first Southend Vintage and retro fair.
This Sunday 9th March, it's something different: The Crook Log Antiques and Collectable Fair in Bexleyheath!
The stock will be slightly different this time, as I will be bringing along some rarer books and oddities!
For ore details and pictures of the stock I will have on my stall this Sunday, head to the Arcane Publishing blog!
I think therefore I write.
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