Monday, 30 March 2015

Legend Press video bites - why writers write

Here's another Legend Press video bite, in celebration of my independent publisher's forthcoming 10th birthday.  This one reveals why 12 of their authors write.  I'm number 7 - the guy with the hat!  Have a look at Legend's birthday page.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Legend Press celebratory video bites - favourite bookshops

My publisher, Legend Press, is celebrating its forthcoming 10th birthday with, amongst other things, the release of special editions and a series of short video clips featuring some of its authors.  I appear in the first one, raving about a bookshop I recently came across in Daylesford, Victoria: Paradise Bookshop.  

Friday, 20 March 2015

Full circle - Northampton bus station gets the shit blown out of it!

Northampton Greyfriars bus station (locally known as The Mouth of Hell) gets a mention in The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore when Tom sees it transformed from a demolition site: 
There's a demolition site we find our way to.  Northampton's full of flattened cinemas, theatres, factories, tenement housing, sitting there year-after-year, awaiting redevelopment, making the town look like the shit's been bombed out of it.  On this one, all that remains of where people's houses once stood are slabs of concrete, lead pipes and ceramic toilet waste outlets hacked off at ground level, a few areas with broken floor tiles still attached and the suggestion of where a bath might have sat, as well as a mass of broken beer bottles, bundles of weather-wrinkled newspapers, and piles of bin liners spilling their guts of household rubbish.  The only sniff of hope in so much crap is where weeds have begun growing through cracks in the concrete. (pp17-18)

Later, he runs around the site with his mate, Gazza, scattering two packets of seeds he's shoplifted from a gardening store - exuberantly ridding himself of the evidence - only to discover, a couple of years down the track, that the new bus station is built there: Greyfriars.  As an older teenager, he briefly imagines his nasturtiums and tomato vines pushing the bricks apart - nature reclaiming it.

In my opinion, it was always an ugly, unfriendly monstrosity and, as Tom might also feel (if he's around to notice), it seemed like the whole thing had come full circle during this last week when it was returned to demolition site status and got the shit blown out of it.  I hope they build something more aesthetically pleasing this time round.

(Greyfriars also gets a mention in Mark Haddon's wonderful The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by the way.)