Trumpet Fanfare…. The Dowry Blade has been long-listed for The Guardian’s Not the Booker prize …along with over 100 other books. Thank you Neil & Juliet for nominating.
So if by some miracle you, like them, have finished reading it, and feel moved to vote, follow the link above and do that thing – for your vote to count you need to vote for 2 books, and write a 100 word review of at least one of them (obviously it would be great if it was The Dowry Blade!) by the 14th August. So you’ve got 2 weeks to read it if you haven’t already – that’s only about 12,000 words a day – you can do it!
I can’t imagine we have sold enough copies to be in with a chance of making the shortlist, but if it gets a few other people interested in buying a copy, it would make me immeasurably happy, as opposed to just modestly pleased, which is where I am right now.
I’ve not been on here much recently, there’s been too much happening.
The opera – of course the opera! Each year I’ve done more and written about it less. Barely managing a faint tweet now and then this year. Carmen, under the direction of Chris Rolls had us on stage almost all the time even when not singing – so no time for gathering thoughts to get on the blog. I’m in the background here somewhere (photo © Lena Kern) foreground Don Jose, Adrian Dwyer and our amazing Carmen Hannah Pedley – so good we tended to get caught up and forget we should sing too. This run sold out weeks ahead of the performance so I know a lot of people were disappointed. You can read a (5 star) review here, and you can catch us singing the choruses between 3 and 5pm TOMORROW (Saturday 23rd July) at Greenwich Park bandstand, and stop to chat while we picnic between sets. (I may not actually be singing myself, as the company throat infection caught up with me as soon as we stopped performing.)
Between performances I hurtled up to Derby to be on a panel (Is high fantasy getting more literary?) and run a workshop (Writing with Your Ears) at EdgeLit5. I’m doing more of that at NineWorlds at the Hammersmith Novotel 12-14th August, with creative writing panels: The Feminine Voice and Writing Female Characters in 21st Century Fantasy Fiction and Writing Queer Characters. I’m not sure of the timings yet, but there’s loads on, workshops, panels, book launches and so on and the finalised timetable will be up soon.
So: writing! Sci Fi Novella turned down by Tor, flash fiction published on line by Spelk, if you like your literature short you might enjoy a free haiku walk (should that be a Haik?) round Horniman Gardens with friends The Museum of Walking on Thurs 4th Aug.
And finally, I got my first ever bit of fan mail – as in hand-written, from someone I don’t know, who loved The Dowry Blade! I think it’s such a fat book that it’s taking people time to read it, but there is now a very nice review on Goodreads too.
I think that’s me caught up for now.
Great fun at Bath’s Burdall’s Yard reading for Solstice at Story Fridays. You can listen to my story, Midsummer Morris Marathon and the other stories here.
And here’s the video of Tim reading Greenlanders at Liars’ League. It’s been a busy week!
I had a spurt of doing submissions recently, and happily can now announce that my story Greenlanders is being read at Liars’ League on Tuesday 14th June – a transport themed evening in which I take up the baton for whaling ships and emigrant steamers. I can’t be there as I’m teaching in another part of town, and even the fastest bus on earth isn’t going to get me there in time, so if any friends, relations or enthusiasts want to go along and cheer vigorously, that would be gratifying!
I wrote the story as part of a workshop I was running at the Metropolitan Archive, writing to live music from Sarah Lloyd & Ian Kennedy, and having just looked at an exhibition of Victorian photographs of everyone from celebrities to ne’er-do-wells.
Another chance to catch a live story, this time in Bath, at Story Friday on 17th June – a busy week! The story is Midsummer Morris Marathon, fo their Solstice theme. This time I’m reading it myself, so the encouragement to friends in the area is even more forceful – you will be hearing from me!
This story is based on elements of fact – I have met those inexhaustible dancers, though not in Somerset, I have stood on that hill and seen that view – after that it’s entirely hokum, unless it isn’t of course…