Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Welsh revelation and another review!

I've had quite a good time this morning helping to run the Goldenford bookstall at Farnham Maltings - in spite of having to get up at 6am! We sold a copy of Laptop and a copy of The Hit List (the latter to the very lovely stall holders behind us - so thank you for that, Tim & Trudi. Very much appreciated indeed!) Irene also sold some of her collectables, which we were showcasing on the table - so well done, Irene! It was also good fun simply because of the amount of people coming through the doors. Had lots of great conversations, and people were surprisingly willing to chat. Must be Christmas! Arrrggghh, the "C" word - sorry ...

Ooh, and I was utterly flabbergasted last night to discover yet another review of A Dangerous Man, this time on the 28 November entry of the Chroma Queer Literary and Arts Journal, which I also include below:

"A Dangerous Man by Anne Brooke is a story about the shackles that the past can become and the lengths someone will go to for freedom. It tells the story of young artist and part-time prostitute, Michael Jones, whose life becomes increasingly complicated when he falls in love with rich businessman, Jack Hutchinson. Through first-person perspective, Brooke writes our protagonist well and captures his desperation to leave behind the world in which he has become entangled for one he has only ever dared dream about. Having never before received praise for his art, Jones has become a closet artist and is given an opportunity by his art dealer landlord, Joe, to put together a collection for display in a successful city firm. Jones is delighted at being given a chance to follow his dream and his luck further improves when he arrives at the office to meet Hutchinson, a man unlike any other he's met before and whom he can't shake from his mind. At the centre of the novel is a love affair in which Jones grows and matures, learning in equal measure about his lover and himself. However hard Jones strives to leave his old life behind, it is made increasingly difficult by antagonists unwilling to let him forget his past. Paul, Joe's live-in boyfriend, is constantly reminding Jones that he is late with his rent and must pay in the most demeaning way, and Frank, the barman in Jones' local, The Two Ravens, is convincing him that 'people like him' don’t fall in love and accept this grim reality. The most interesting tension, though, is that of Jones with himself, which Brooke portrays highly effectively. Completely devoid of self-esteem, Jones can't imagine why anyone can love him, and is constantly struggling to distinguish the difference between a lover and a punter, his inner turmoil manifesting itself in his dark drawings. A Dangerous Man is an entertaining read with a strong narrative that builds to a climax leaving us wondering, despite everything, how far Jones has really come from the self he was trying to escape."

Gosh, a huge thank you to Liam Tullberg who was kind enough to write that. I'm incredibly grateful. Interesting to see how different it is from Lisa's review of 29 November. And, not only that, but Chroma have asked for an interview so I'm more than happy to do that. No, let's be honest - I'm utterly thrilled to be asked and nearly wet myself whilst screaming when I read the email. Which is a professional authorial response to good news, of course ...

Anyway, back to reality. This afternoon, I have managed another 1000 words to The Bones of Summer, and have been dotting around doing various difficult scenes which were at the forefront of my mind. I don't often do that - usually I just slog through in some kind of order - but occasionally it's nice to dip in here and there and see what happens. It was great to be back, and Craig seemed less unwelcoming than when I abandoned him for a while before. Then again, I didn't leave him in the middle of a sex scene this time, so I suppose he felt more comfortable. He's a bit sensitive about that kind of stuff.

And I've just finished watching "Strictly Come Dancing". Poor Letitia - not very well at all this week, though I have voted for her as I love her so. But, my goodness, it was Gethin, as the Welsh revelation, who swept this particular viewer off her feet!! Both his dances were so hot that I was nearly scorched by the flames coming out of the screen. Wonderful! My but I'd like to see a bit of that in the final ...

Today's nice things:

1. The Farnham fair
2. The Chroma review
3. Hot Welsh dragons on the dance floor!!

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers

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