Friday, 24 February 2012

I'm in Today's Teignmouth Post!

I'm in today's Teignmouth Post! Hooray!
Obviously if you're down in Devon, you can buy one there, but you can also download a copy for 50p from their website.
Teignmouth Post
It's a really good article which they've taken from my press release. It just shows what a self-published writer can do, and I'd like to thank reporter, John Ware, and editor, Ruth Davey, for all their help, not to mention Rhona at the Quayside Bookshop for suggesting it.
Quayside Bookshop

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Exhibition of Scott's Last Expedition meant so much to me

Fifty years ago, at the age of seven, I made a diary about Captain Scott's Expedition at junior school to celebrate the fifty years since he and his friends had perished on the way back from the South Pole, knowing that Norwegian, Raold Amundsen had got there first.
Through the years, I've remembered the story about their trek to the Pole, and especially the bit about Oates going out for a walk and saying he might be some time, but never coming back.
However, I never expected to be able to see the actual equipment that they took with them, from the cameras to record their journey, to the tins of biscuits that sustained them, which are displayed in a reconstruction of the area of the base hut where they wintered the year before their attempt on the pole in 1912.
The exhibition at the Natural History Museum is on until September 2nd and is well worth a visit. Have you seen it?

Monday, 13 February 2012

I've found a Weekend at Bernie's!

Many years ago we watched this black slapstick comedy film about two guys who discovered that their boss had been murdered at his beach house, and not wanting to be accused of his death and not wanting the assassin to kill them too, they pretended that he was still alive. Sounds gruesome? Well, it is a bit, but played so well that it's just funny, unlike some American comedies that go completely over the top.
As Bernie's beach house fills up with his normal weekend party crowd, Larry and Richard sit him on the sofa, and with his dark glasses on. Who can tell he's dead as they swing his arms and legs and pretend that he's interacting with all the guests?  There are some great set pieces, e.g. when Larry and Gwen, the girl he's trying to impress, lie on the beach like Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity, and Bernie, who has fallen off the balcony and been swept out to sea, floats up behind them on the tide, like a scene from The Simpsons.
Anyway, we'd talked about it for a long time, but couldn't remember the title, so it was great to see that it was on ITV 2 on Saturday night. A silly funny film that made us laugh.
Have you seen it?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My Dear, I wanted to tell you by Louisa Young - Kindle or paperback?

I had a Kindle for Christmas, and I've been very disappointed that many new books for sale are more expensive to download than to order the paperback and have it delivered to my home. Of course you do get your ebook immediately, but there is another thing. . .
I first saw Louisa Young's beautiful book in Sainsbury's. I was drawn to it by the cover which sets the story in the First World War which I'm researching at the moment. (Someone, giving an Amazon Customer Review, said that the cover was 'reminiscent of yet another beach chick-flick read' - I don't know what they were looking at!)
The back of the cover is important too, and gives, of course, the blurb, but this one is very special because it explains the title: the words on the buff coloured form that would be filled in at a Casualty Clearing Station, 'My Dear . . . I wanted to tell you. . .' which you don't find out until halfway through the book.
This is all lost when you download it on Kindle.
Also, I looked at the first few pages on Amazon, and the formatting is all lost as well. Louisa Young sets the scene in the Prologue by describing the sounds and effects of the Battle of Messines on both sides of the Channel on the main protagonists of the story. All  the gaps between the paragraphs are lost and they all run into each other. Not what Lousia had intended, I'm sure.
Anyway, enough of all that, I really enjoyed this book. The contrasting love affairs between Riley and Nadine, and that of his commanding officer, Peter, and his wife, Julia, and the support which Rose, Peter's sister, gives to them all, are set against the horrific backdrop of the First World War. This is a moving story about how ordinary people coped with their lives during that time.
So, as you can see, I bought the paperback.
Which would you prefer?

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gipsy Moth in Wallingford Bookshop!

Here is my novel, Gipsy Moth, on the shelf at Wallingford Bookshop.
I have to thank Rebecca Emin for blogging about this wonderful bookshop which agreed to stock her children's novel, New Beginnings, and her anthology, A Knowing Look and Other Stories.
I contacted Rebecca, and she said that she was sure that Alison at the shop would like to see my book, so I took it along. I felt really nervous, and hardly looked around the shop the first time, but she was pleased to take two copies.
I went back last week, and although they haven't sold yet, it only takes two people to come in and and buy them, and then perhaps she will take some more.