Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brighton Festival draws near

This year's Brighton Festival takes place from 2-24 May. For the first time ever, it has a guest curator - the Turner award-winning artist Anish Kapoor. Of course, in this current economic climate there is less money around for the arts than ever, especially in Scotland, it seems, with the hard-hit Scottish banks withrawing their sponsorship. However, according to this blog piece in the Telegraph by Rupert Christiansen, the Brighton Festival doesn't seem to have fared too badly in the financial squeeze. In fact, in his opinion, this year's programme is shaping up to be the best ever.

That's reassuring to hear, especially as I have worked on a piece that is going to form a part of this year's festival programme. It's the opera, Cocteau in the Underworld, for which I've written the libretto. The composer is Ed Hughes.

A workshop production of Cocteau in the Underworld will take place in the Pavilion Theatre on Monday 4 May at 9.00pm. It will be pretty much self-contained, but is not the complete opera. In fact, it represents about half of the piece and should take about 35 minutes.

There's more about the Brighton Festival here.

More about Cocteau in the Underworld here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

View from Here interview part two

I think it must be the longest, most in-depth interview I have ever done! Part Two is here.

Part one, if you want to read that first, is here.

Jen Persson of View from Here also reviewed A Vengeful Longing here.

I feel like I am rather hogging the view over there.

But if that's not enough for you, Alex at Faber spotted another review in Eurocrime.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Page 69 Test

Michael Gregorio, aka Mike Jacob and Daniela de Gregorio, has undertaken the page 69 test with their new novel, A Visible Darkness, which is published today in the USA. You will note my confusion as to whether to treat them as a single entity (Michael Gregorio) or as two individuals (which is what they are). Hence my grammatical inconsistency.

I'd say they passed with flying colours.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Inter-view from here

Part one of an interview with the literary magazine The View From Here is here.

Part two will be there soon.

Thanks to Jen for some great questions.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

New opera trailer

A new edit of the opera trailer has been posted on youtube. It's subtly different from the last.

May 4 - the date of the Brighton performance - approaches! Book here, now. Please.

A fellow traveller in Twit Land

I'm truly in awe of Brazilian author Claudio Soares, who is not only serialising his novel Santos Dumont número 8 on twitter, but has set up twitter streams for each of his main characters!

The book is in Brazilian Portuguese, as is the twitterisation, but you can read about his experiment in English in this smashwords blog post.

The novel itself sounds wonderful, and I hope he finds an English publisher for it (anyone at Faber or Penguin paying attention????).

Here's the Santos Dumont número 8 twitter page for the serialisation.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Yet another edit of the trailer!


It's holiday time here. Which means the kids are off school and semi-cluttering up the house. Actually, one of them is doing a music course, which runs more or less usual school hours and the other is no trouble at all. So I can't really blame them for my lack of productivity. But I have to confess I am not at my most productive at the moment.

It's not as if I don't have something to work on. I do. A nice project, actually, a longish short story. Or maybe it's a shortish long story. I haven't decided yet. I have no definite deadline for it though, and maybe that is the problem.

In the meantime I am waiting to hear back from my editor about the edits I did on my new manuscript. I think it's that, really, that's preventing me from getting on with anything. Until I know what's happening there my writing life is slightly suspended.

Of course, there is the daily, hourly, feeding of the twitter beast. Or perhaps that should be 'tweast' following the apparent trend (sorry, I mean 'twend') of taking perfectly good words and bastardising them by replacing their initial letters with 'tw'.

It can produce some interesting coinages - or should that be twoinages?

There's twiction, and twitterature, of course, which have been used to describe my own particular experiment on twitter (twexperiment?). Others have also come to my attention: twistory, twictures, twelephone, twexy, twoddle, twonsense, twiresome and twen-will-it-all-stwop?

Then again, I may just be twitting you.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Interview with Preston Writing Network.

Jenn Ashworth is a Preston-based writer whose debut novel A Kind of Intimacy has received to-die-for critical acclaim. (In fact, the Guardian reviewer asked: "... who wouldn't kill for a comic gift like Jenn Ashworth's?") Jenn runs a blog for writers in her neck of the woods, called the Preston Writing Network, and she very kindly interviewed me for the site.

Friday, April 03, 2009

American paperback trailer

Ahead of the publication of the American paperback of A Vengeful Longing, which comes out in May, here is a slightly edited version of the trailer to include the name of my American publisher, Penguin.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

More on twitterature

The Daily Beast has run another piece on twitterature, which has been picked up by lots of other bloggers, including The Huffington Post! I see that yahoo also included it in their Daily Buzz bulletin.

I was also mentioned in this introduction to the whole topic on squidoo.

The only question I'm left with after reading all this is should it be Twit-Lit or Twitterature?

Either way I suppose I have to keep going now!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Detective Dumpty and the Murder Myster-yolk.

It's that time again. The egg decorating contest at my kids' school. This year my son and his friend did a joint effort, which was all their own idea without any influence from me I promise: the theme they chose was Detective Dumpty and the Murder Myster-yolk. The picture only represents half of their endeavour as the background, which included a forensic tent and a perpetrator hiding in a bush, was not available for me to photograph.

You will notice that that is an axe sticking out from the victim's broken shell.

My daughter and her friends went for a slightly more surreal theme, which as far as I can tell was based on the idea that 'Eggs are strange'. The scene was offered as evidence of this, depicting as it does some eggs eating breakfast in a bathroom. It's pretty deep.