Sunday, 13 April 2008

The Times They Are A-Changin'

There’s only one thing we can guarantee will remain the same in life, which is that nothing will remain the same in life. Big changes or small changes, the only thing that doesn’t change is that everything changes. Dylan, Bowie and a thousand others have sung about it, Chaucer and Heraklietos wrote about it, Macmillan proclaimed about it, Darwin got a real grasp on it, Lao Tzu ... the list is long and constantly being added to because the earth and her inhabitants have been changing since before they began.

Vending_machine Even Anonymous gives a qualified assent: “Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.”

There’s been a big change afoot at PaperBooks during the last few weeks, which would’ve been inappropriate for me to hint at, let alone comment upon at the time. However, with the news released to the media last weekend (see Book Trade News, The Bookseller, Legend Press), I reckon I can now explain to all those lovely people who’ve been asking when The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore will be released, and who I’ve been fobbing off withPaperbooks_logo_2 the vaguest of replies and a quick change in subject, that PaperBooks have been bought by Legend Press. Yes, it’s a done deal! I understand that PaperBooks will continue to exist as a separate identity, but that this union will not only give both houses greater stature but that it’ll Legend_press create efficiencies which will see an increased list of titles and broader marketing and promotion opportunities. (I’m beginning to sound more like a business executive than an author, so I’ll stop there.) What it means for The Snowing and Greening is that we’ll be working towards a new release date and will let everyone know this as soon as is practicable.

I’d like to say a public thank you to the dynamic Keirsten Clark, whoWritingcouk_3 established PaperBooks and who, through her editorial insight, helped me develop a sharper focus for The Snowing and Greening. Keirsten is going to concentrate her energies on her other business, the literary consultancy Writing.co.uk , so, if you're after assistance in developing a manuscript, have a close look at the opportunities available there. And congratulations to Tom Chalmers, who, in establishing Legend Press and taking on PaperBooks, must also be pretty darned dynamic.

The_view_from_here_online_literar_2 Whilst I’m plugging, but still on the subject of change, big things have been happening over at Mike French’s site The View From Here recently. It’s no longer a blog as such, but has evolved into an online literary magazine. With his regular book reviews and interviews, Mike has been heading inevitably towards this change and it’s great to see the place he’s arrived at. It’s a boon for everyone interested in literary events, and Mike has reinforced this by affiliating with Cornerstones, another British literary consultancy. Recent interviews that Mike has conducted at The View From Here include Julian Barnes, Helen Corner, Tom McCarthy, Antony Moore, Paul Torday, Edward Smith (YouWriteOn.com) and yours truly. Not only is Mike French’s site well worth a visit but, for anyone interested in all things literary, it’s worth adding to your Favourites list if you haven’t already done so.

Thought I might finish with a YouTube clip of Bob Dylan singing The Times They Are A-Changing, or of Schopenhauer saying “Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal", or of Darwin setting sail in the Beagle, but thought I’d finish with a little light relief instead. Maybe this clip is about resisting change or maybe it suggests that sometimes things don’t change that much in some respects, or that things happen at their own sweet pace---you can decide for yourself---but I love the wink at the end.

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