Have just posted Part One of an interview with Gary Davison over at The View From Here, in preparation for the release of his novel Fat Tuesday on 27th September. Since meeting Gary through our involvement with PaperBooks, we've trod parallel paths --- with similar high points and low points --- in our journey towards publication. It's much easier when you can share moments of insanity with someone else!
The Ex Libris Port Fairy Book Fair & Literary Weekend is coming up. On Saturday, I'll be hosting a discussion with Dmetri Kakmi, author of Mother Land (Giramondo, 2008, ISBN 978-1920882433), which is described as 'a vivid portrayal of Greek-Turkish life on the Aegean island of Bozcaada, in all its beauty, poverty, and ignorance.' It's a stunning piece of writing---a powerful memoir. Lots of superlatives spring to mind, but for the moment I'll just say that his story-telling has a compelling tug to it and his prose is quite simply exciting. As you can tell, I'm loving it.
We'll be talking about his journey as a writer and the process by which Mother Land revealed itself, as well as exploring the overlap between memoir and fiction, and what it's like for an editor (Dmetri is a senior editor for Penguin) to be edited.
This is one of a number of events that'll take place across the weekend (art exhibition by illustrator Shaun Tan, talk by author Alice Pung, second hand book sales, etc), but one of my favourite annual events is the Barbara Cartland Hurl. Visitors are invited to dress up in something pink, read an excerpt from one of Barbara Cartland's romances and then see how far they can hurl it across the town green. This is a slightly less demanding activity than tossing the caber, but there are prizes for the best reading and the best hurl.
Was feeling a little out of things on Sunday, being so far from British book shops, but then some excellent news, accompanied by pics, arrived. A big thanks to Gary, who let me know that Borders, Newcastle, had The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore on the shelves and in the 3-for-2 displays. This was followed by pics from Paola and Joel, proving (because seeing is believing) that the book really did exist and was on the shelves in Borders, Swindon. Thanks Paola and Joel. And then yesterday, Mrs T absolutely knocked my socks off by dedicating a whole post to her sighting (and capture) of The Snowing and Greening in Waterstones, Milton Keynes (which town incidentally rates a mention on p.164). See her pics, read her post.
And today my copies of the book arrived!
I pick them up, I prod them and turn them over... and they don't vanish. Wow!