Thursday, April 17, 2008

Books, Shakespeare and the great G P Taylor himself

Delighted to find that the lovely Rosy Barnes at Vulpes Libris has just uploaded my article on self-publishing and that already it has inspired a lot of really interesting and thought-provoking comments. Including one from the great G P Taylor himself. Well, gosh. I always wanted to include myself in the same paragraph as a New York Times bestselling author, and now I have! My work here is done, Carruthers. Thank you and goodnight. Seriously though, do have a read and let me know what you think. My feeling is the times are most definitely a-changing and self-publishing is long overdue for a serious rebranding in the minds of the publishing world. Long long overdue. After all, readers don't have a problem with self-published books, so why the hell should the book world?? Food for thought anyway, I hope.

And thank goodness I'm feeling rather better today - or at least a little further up from the vast Slough of Despond I was drowning in yesterday. Thank you all so much for your messages of support - they've been really appreciated, and I do agree with many of your comments, and will attempt to do something about them in the near future. In the meantime, I've managed another early night (good God, pass the smelling salts, someone ...) and I've upped my Vitamin B dose, thus cocking a snook at the worry-mongers of yesterday's news bulletins. Anyway, thank you.

This lunchtime, I popped into see my sick friend, who is feeling hugely better compared to last week, which is a big relief. We discussed, amongst other things, the Times crosswords, Graham Greene, Anthony Powell (am I the only person in the world who read Dance to the Music of Time - in the wrong order - when I was 13? Lordy, perhaps that's what's made me the sane pillar of the community I am today ...) and Shakespeare's use of words. Hell, it's been that kind of a day, really. Pseuds' Corner has nothing on us.

And I can thoroughly recommend Sarah Stovell's debut novel, Mothernight. A tour-de-force of poetry, pain and grief. Just how I like my reading. Some lovely turns of phrase and I particularly enjoyed Olivia's growth throughout the story and the incredible humanity of Katherine, the step-mother. Powerful stuff indeed. Very insightful about unforgiveness, to my mind, and how to live with it. I've also just finished Jane Draycott's poetry collection, Prince Rupert's Drop. I'm not sure, to be honest, that it really held together as a collection, though some of the individual poems, such as "Jacob Wrestles with the Angel", "Land Girl" and the final poem, "What matters", are mind-blastingly good. It's just that for the rest, I think - bizarrely - that the words got in the way of the meaning or obscured it. Not at all like Shakespeare then. My feeling is that really Draycott can do better.

Anyway, tonight I'm not writing again (goodness, how liberating!) and instead Lord H and I are going to see "A Touch of Danger" at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. A thriller involving an author who isn't quite as dead as everyone thinks he is? Good Lord then, there's hope for us all ...

Today's nice things:

1. The Vulpes Libris article
2. Talking about books
3. The theatre.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers


Jilly said...

Anne - I hope you collect coincidences! I started reading 'Mothernight' today, having had it come up as a book Amazon recommended to me because of my past purchases! I bought it from Snow Books direct though. Having read the first 30 pages it looks good to me!

Anne Brooke said...

Spooky!! We must be on the same wavelength, Jilly!



Jackie Luben said...

Good to hear you sounding better, Anne, and I really thought your article was very, very good.

Amoing successful self published books were The Cold Moon (taken up by Penguin, once it had got off the ground, and Our Kid, by Billy Hopkin. Also taken up by a mainstream publisher, after Billy put miles of effort into publicising it, and he then went on to write about half a dozen more. I'm giving a talk on self publishing in May.

Robin said...

Hope you are feeling better Anne. I tried to find some of the poetry by Jane online but so far no results though I did find some info on her poetry classes. I wanted to read Jacob wrestling the angels....

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jackie & Robin - much appreciated. And well done on that talk, Jackie - will have to get details for the Goldenford website from you!

Ooh, and I'm sure it would be well worth going to a Draycott poetry class, Robin - as a plus I'm sure she'd have the book with the Jacob poem in she might be able to sign for you!