writing


egypt mapFiction can transport a reader in many ways, but one of the most powerful is through time and place. How does a book lift you away from here-and-now and take you to there-and-then?

My memories of real experiences bump and blend with stories. Recollections of a childhood tangle with those of Michael Ondaatje (The Cat’s Table), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun) and Dylan Thomas (A Child’s Christmas in Wales).

Books have taken me places I’ve never been. Moscow feels familiar thanks to Martin Cruz Smith (Gorky Park). Susan Barker (The Incarnations) showed a China I could never experience and Barbara Demick (Nothing to Envy) lifted the cover off North Korea. Tim Winton (Breath) illustrated the other side o f Australia, while Alan Duff (Once Were Warriors) shone a new light on New Zealand.

Books take you places you could never imagine, inviting a selective perspective via sensory immersion. You feel the dry wind off the desert, see the exotic blooms, hear the cicadas. You’re there.

How? Through the senses.

A Taste of Triskele Cover EBOOKTriskele Books built our reputation on a sense of time and place. Embarking on a journey is always a risk. So try a trip first.

Our sampler of eight short stories set in a distinct time and place. And to complete your sensory immersion, each story is accompanied by a local recipe. All for less than the price of an ice-cream.

A Taste of Triskele: adventures through time, place and taste.

A little of what you fancy does you good.

A Taste of Triskele
A tale, a place, a time, a taste.
Eight delectable short stories, each set in a distinctive location, accompanied by a local dish.
Fall in love with honey, bite into bitterness, sweeten the secrets, indulge your excesses, tickle your palette and free your imagination.
Whether you’re on a beach or in your own back garden, escape into extraordinary worlds.
Bon voyage. And bon appétit.

Available at Amazon

Available at Smashwords
 

 

Photo by Salman Raza

Photo by Salman Raza

I like Kamila Shamsie. I enjoy her writing and admire her as a person. This week in The Guardian, she condensed her National Conversation with Writers’ Centre Norwich into a ‘provocation’. Her challenge was this: in 2018, the publishing industry commits to a year of publishing only work written by women, literary critics review only female-penned work and booksellers, bloggers and festivals refuse to include books by men.

She quotes a list of statistics which amply demonstrate “the gender imbalance that exists in publishing houses, in terms of reviews, top positions in publishing houses, literary prizes etc”. Her position was designed to create discussion and it succeeded. Comments erupted and arguments flared. I listened to both sides and to my own gut feeling.

I’m a feminist. Of course I am. I’m a woman. Sexism, just like any other form of discrimination, is unacceptable. Battles have been won but the struggle for equal rights is far from over. Especially as we’re still fighting our enemies (FGM/unequal pay/rape as weapon) and, on occasion, our friends (lazy terminology such as MILF).

As a female writer in a gender-skewed business, I agree we need creative ideas to right the balance. For example, the Women’s Prize for Fiction (was Orange, now Baileys) is controversial in its exclusion of men but something I welcome as a positive affirmation of the exciting achievements of women writers. The A Year of Reading Women concept was an extraordinary door-opener to the wealth of novels, short stories, poetry and non-fiction overlooked by mainstream media. Mslexia, a magazine aimed specifically at women writers is another example of adding, rather than taking away.

Hence I applaud Shamsie for making us think harder about how best to take affirmative action. But I cannot agree with a year of publishing only women.

I believe the way forward is not by excluding, discriminating or preventing any group of people from publishing their work. When faced with a wall, you have more options than knocking it down. Scale it alone, make your own door, tunnel under or do what women do best. Lift each other up.

In the UK/Europe, we have prizes, magazines, websites and a readers’ initiative to promote women’s writing. Why not an international literary festival to do the same? Inclusive: embracing women writers of all backgrounds and genres, inviting supportive male writers, showcasing the prize-winners, the risk-takers, the experimenters, the cutting-edgers of right now and the female icebreakers who first took up their pens to chip away at the glass ceiling.

So taking offensive terms and turning them upside down, I’d like to suggest the very first WiLF – Women in Literature Festival – in London next year. In 2017, the project could spread across Europe with mini-WiLFs on International Women’s Day. And in 2018, we can have a celebration of how much women and men have promoted the range and diversity of writing by, about and for women.

Kamila Shamsie – how do you fancy being keynote speaker?

CC-BY_icon.svg

Joanna Penn nailed it at our CrimeFest panel and summarises it all again here.

Team Indie at CrimeFest15

Team Indie at CrimeFest15

A perfect, energetic, brilliant summary of why we do it our own way.

Yes, that grinner in the middle is me.

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2015/05/22/pros-and-cons-indie-author/

In the radio interview with Roz Morris and Peter Snell, bookseller Peter wondered if there could be such a thing as a stamp of quality for indie books. We took his words to heart and thought about it. We realised we already offer such a thing. The stamp of approval from Bookmuse. There are various awards available out there, but ours is a little different. See why below.
So we decided to create an award for books we can honestly recommend, no matter where they come from. If a book carries this badge, one of our team loved it and will tell you why.
This is the Bookmuse Recommended Read Award.

Bookmuse recommends great books to discerning readers.

We read and assess submissions, handpick the ones we love and send out a weekly newsletter to our subscribers. We only feature books we can honestly recommend.

Bookmuse reviews follow this format:

What we thought

You’ll enjoy this if you liked

Avoid if you dislike

Ideal accompaniments

· We read books from trade, small and independent or self publishers

· Our pool of reviewers includes a range of tastes, ages and genders

· Featured books are awarded the Recommended Read Award

· Reviews are promoted across all our platforms

· We never charge for reviews or feedback

The Award

If you’ve been reviewed, feel free to display your award on your website, blog or cover.

If you’d like your book reviewed, check out these incredibly simple guidelines.

Email submissions@quinnpublications.co.uk with a brief description of your book. Although we cannot review all books submitted, we’ll do our best to get back to you.

To promote a book, please post on our Facebook page or tag us on Twitter @bookmuseuk.

To get three carefully chosen book recommendations delivered to your inbox every Friday, sign up here.

Recent events at Foyles Bookshop (see below) in central London created some multi-media perspectives on indie authorship and author collectives.

Roz, Peter and the Gizmo Gonk

Roz Morris and Peter Snell

 

First up, audio.

Here’s a radio interview with JD Smith and myself, talking about Triskele Books author collective with Roz Morris and Peter Snell on Surrey Hills Radio. (Warning, contains seriously cool music.)

 

JDS JJ

JJ Marsh and JD Smith

 

Kat

Catriona Troth

 

Next, visuals.

This take on the collective is neatly delivered by our fellow Triskelite Catriona Troth, speaking here to Ingram Spark.

An author collective in three minutes!

Friday 17 April saw London Book Fair’s first Fringe Festival.

Foyles, London’s biggest independent bookstore, opened its doors to the Alliance of Independent Authors, IndieReCon and IAF15, organised by Triskele Books. A thrilling, vibrant and educational day, not to mention a lot of fun. So what happened?

cj

Bestseller CJ Lyons

 

CJ Lyons opened the event by using the analogy of a blacksmith.

Forge your first book with love and care, then keep honing your craft.

Engage with readers.

Don’t try to sell a million.

Write something a million people want to buy.

 

funding

L-R: Peter Urpeth, John Prebble, Nicola Solomon and Debbie Young

Debbie Young of the Alliance of Independent Authors chaired a discussion with panellists Peter Urpeth of Scottish based Creative Agency, Emergents; John Prebble of Arts Council of England Literature Relationship Manager and Nicola Solomon of the Society of Authors.

The theme was how to keep the cash coming in while you write. Grants, prizes, Public Lending Rights, mentoring schemes, partnerships with business development organisations and sponsorship are all potential sources of support for authors.

dan rohan

Dan and Rohan

 

 

Dan Holloway and Rohan Quine fired up the audience by speaking eloquently and poetically on diversity in literature.

Read Dan’s poem ‘Because’ here.

 

rights

L-R: Sharmain Lovegrove, Scott Beatty, Katie Donelan and Toby Mundy

 

 

 

ALLi’s literary agent, Toby Mundy of TMA chaired a panel including Scott Beatty of Trajectory, book-scout Sharmaine Lovegrove of Dialogue Berlin & Fremantle Media, and Katie Donelan of BookBub to discuss how authors can sell more rights.

 

Porter Anderson introduced SELF-e. Authors everywhere can sign up to get their ebooks into US libraries.

 

panel

L-R: Dr Alison Baverstock, Robert Caskie, Porter Anderson and Robin Cutler

Much talk centres on what self-publishing should learn from trade publishing. Rarely vice versa. Porter Anderson explored this key question with panellists Robert Caskie, Senior Agent at Peter Frazer Dunlop; Dr Alison Baverstock, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Publishing, Kingston University and Robin Cutler of Ingram Spark: how does self-publishing affect trade publishers, editors, agents and bookshops?

Debbie Young and Piers Alexander introduced the new #Authors4Bookstores campaign. All writers and readers love bookstores and want to see at least one on every high street. This new campaign encourages and enables indie authors and bookstores to form mutually beneficial, supportive relationships.

Last session of the day saw Joanna Penn grill a range of successful indie authors, Rachel Abbott, Steena Holmes, CJ Lyons, Mark McGuinness and Nick Stephenson on their tactics, breakthrough moments and advice.

Orna Ross & Porter Anderson wrapped up the conference with a look back at the last three years of ALLi (including a divergence of opinion on how to pronounce it) and hopes for the future.

You can access all this and more via IndieReCon – talks, tips, ideas, videos and vast amounts of resources to peruse at leisure.

 

The last part of the day was IAF15 @Foyles, organised by Triskele Books. Fifty authors with books, balloons, goodies, quizzes, wine, canapés and smiles welcomed browsers, bookclubbers, friends and readers. The atmosphere was happy, friendly, communal and everything an indie author fair should be.

IAF buzz

The Indie Author Fair at Foyles

And we’re now planning the next one.

After a cup of tea.

triskelites

Team Triskele

Images courtesy of Liza Perrat

Happy Easter!

A bunch of treats and goodies for you to indulge in at your leisure:

1. Writing Retreat

Chateau Saint Mère

Chateau Saint Mère

Writing At The Castle is 5 days of professional tuition and private writing time in the inspiring surroundings of a magnificent medieval Château in Gascony, South West France. Award-winning authors Amanda Hodgkinson and Tracey Warr, together with literary agent Andrew Lownie and publishing professionals including Jill Marsh author and co-publisher at Triskele Books and Anselm Audley, will be among the speakers who will lead practical workshops for a small group of writers looking to make that difficult leap from the private and often solitary writing desk, to the world of published success.

Writing At The Castle 2015 will concentrate on fiction and the novel. Wednesday 1st July –  Tuesday 7th July.

 

Dan_Jones_MG_9611C copy

Dan Jones, presenter of Great British Castles

2. Words with JAM

THE magazine for writers is just out. If you’re new to Words with JAM (WWJ), please pull up a stool and take a look around. We email out issues packed full of interviews with authors and industry professionals, articles on writing, reading, libraries, the publishing industry and indie-publishing every other month, as well as occasional newsletters.

This is the History issue, containing interviews, reviews, info, opinion and a smidge of sarky satire.

 

w-green-howl3. Indie-Publishing

Jill Indie Pub – Your ALLi rep’s take on indie publishing in Switzerland. These are the slides from my talk at WriteConZüri15 on 21/22 March. A round of all speakers’ presentations will appear in the next issue of The Woolf,  Zürich’s quarterly literary magazine: pouncing on narrative media, dragging tasty morsels home to share with the pack.

 

 

4. Here’s A Time & A Place

Today, Triskele Books releases a boxset of SEVEN fabulous novels, taking you wherever and whenever you want to go. Gorge on gorgeousness and feel saintly as it is completely calorie-free. What’s in the box?

A Time and A Place Box Set Cover LARGE EBOOKCrimson Shore: ‘Hamer does for Anglesey what Rankin does to Edinburgh, what Dexter did to Oxford’
The Rise of Zenobia: ‘Packed to the hilt with tension and adventure, it kept me spellbound’
Rats: ‘An absolute treat for fans of SF, dystopian, and YA novels, but I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great story brilliantly told’
Ghost Town:‘Unique and brilliant… not just a compelling read, but also a learning experience’
Wolfsangel: ‘Fascinating, forceful and extremely well researched… will thrill historical fiction fans’
Delirium: ‘Beautifully plotted and written, this absorbing, enchanting novel is one of the best books I have read this year’
Behind Closed Doors: ‘Warning: once you start this book you may not be able to put it down, and you may find yourself talking to it’

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 263 other followers