Friday, October 24, 2014

Crushed is resurrected

I am my own Fave Rave this month. Crushed, my illustrated Young Adult novel has just been resurrected from the Out of Print graveyard. The book is now on global Amazon Kindle.

Since the book became available on line, readers in India, Germany, France, England and the USA have bought copies. Not bad for a novel, resurrected from Out of Print obscurity.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Richard de Lone's Peace Love and Twang Benefit

Study the above poster, and if you are a bluegrass, blues, Americana, country and rockabilly fanatic - start drooling!

It's a Family Affair: for the record, singer/songwriter Caroline de Lone (Richard's sister and offspring of Lesley and Austin) will be belting her guts out amongst the exalted line up of fellow musicians at the 8th Annual Richard de Lone Special Housing Project, held at the Bimbo’s 365 club, 1025 Columbus, San Francisco, California on Sunday, October 5th.

Caroline de Lone's fingerprints CD

 I do hope Caroline will be singing songs from her debut album titled Fingerprints, which will be released just before December 25th. I admit she's my niece, but there is  lot to say for Nepotism. She is an Original.

 Exalted musicians, who will be twanging away beside her include Jim Lauderdale, Bill Kirchen, the Legendary Austin de Lone, Carlene Carter, Butch Hancock, Jim Dale Gilmour, Dan Hicks and The Hicksville Express and Kindred Maxwell and de Lone. 

Caroline and Austin de Lone
Dan Hicks

The concert will be worth going to for the Silent Auction alone: a Fender Jazzmaster, owned by Elvis Costello himself, a special copy of Elvis' first Jazzmaster, made in a limited edition by Fender, autographed and authenticated, with photo. Also a case of Boz Scaggs 'fantastic' 2007 vintage; a 20x30 original Ken Friedman framed photo of Jerry Garcia and more.

 So if you fancy a musically invigorating night out call Bimbo’s 365 club at (415) 474 0365 to book .... pronto.

Carlene Carter

Friday, July 04, 2014

Pow! Wow! Comics Unmasked

Woweeee Zoweeeee! At the tail end of the twentieth century, I used to write FutureShock stories for 2000 AD magazine. The longest comic I wrote was eight pages, but I always wanted to know how to write a 100 page graphic novel.

My prayers were recently answered: As part of the British Library’s compelling Comics Unmasked exhibition, imaginatively curated by John Harris Dunning, Paul Gravett, and Adrian Edwards (ends August 19th), the library organised a four session course on how to create a Graphic novel – from Beginner/Intermediate to Advanced level.


The course leaders consisted of Ariel Kahn, the Senior Lecturer in creative writing at Roehampton University, and John Harris Dunning (John's sublime graphic novel Salem Brownstone: All Along the Watchtowers was the first graphic novel published by Walker Books).

Ariel Kahn

John Harris Dunning

Special Guests included Sarah Lightman, director of Laydeez do Comics, and Emma Hayley, MD and Publisher of SelfMadeHero, which she launched in 2007, after spotting a gap in the market for high-quality graphic novels.

As the courses were all held in the evening, the participants were given the perk Of viewing the Comics Unmasked exhibition, ‘the UK’s largest ever exhibition of mainstream and underground comics, showcasing works that uncompromisingly address politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states’ after opening hours, when the public weren’t admitted.

 The first course (titled: Who is in Charge? The dynamics of image and text) was in the PACCAR gallery where the exhibition is held. Ariel Kahn co-hosted the workshop with John Harris Dunning.

One of the students told me he had just graduated from Kahn’s creative writing course at Roehampton university and exclaimed he was a Brilliant teacher. I have to say Kahn was one of the most exhilarating lecturers I have ever come across.

 If all that wasn’t stimulating enough, I actually had a one to one encounter with the charming John Harris Dunning, who showed me how to write AND draw a comic script. I illustrated Crushed, my YA novel but drawing thumbnail pix is another learning curve.

During the last From Pitch to Publication course I attended, SelfMadeHero’s Emma Hayley gave an inspiring talk before making herself available for us to pitch our stuff at her. If that wasn’t fab enough, a handful of us then went into the exhibition to have another look round. The exhibition space was designed by award-winning comic book artist Dave McKean, and I really felt I was inside a living comic.

  Kissley Leonor, who covers fashion, film and design at the British Library reminded us how lucky we were, saying the exhibition is always PACKED.
 Kissley Leonor

One of the great things about attending creative courses is meeting like-minded people. The viewers going round the gallery with me included Edward Fletcher, the creator of the Meiosis webcomic, and Royal College of Art student Fionnuala Doran - the winner of Comics Unmasked Arts Thread x British Library competition.
Fionnuala Doran 

 We all stopped ogling the Comic Art for a few minutes to discuss PhotoShop. And that reminds me I might now have to go on a course on how to learn Inking and Lettering!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Victor Olliver Lifesurfs into 2015

Victor Olliver is my Fave Rave astrologer. It's just as well, as his new Astrology book, Lifesurfing: Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2015 is just out/available from Amazon.

The prolific way Victor Olliver is going, I predict I shall have to build extra bookshelves to house his new astrology books, a new one for every year.

 I've still got his previous book, Lifesurfing: Your Horoscope Forecast Guide 2014 by my bedside, which I regularly consult.

But before I put away his new Lifesurfing book for 2015, I couldn't resist reading his intriguing 'Astro-X-Ray' features in the final part of the book. Pope Francis, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie are amongst them.

 If one didn't know anything about these avatars,  thanks to Victor Olliver's astute Astrological magnified intrusion,  it seems one learns everything there is to know about them and more.

 The subjects whom Victor knows personally are even more riveting. One of his X-Rays is the tabloid hack/writer Julie Burchill, whom Victor knows personally. I was enthralled, as he was able to perfectly illustrate her astrological makeup with fascinating anecdotes about her.

Julie Burchill 
I hope Ms Burchill can take it as much as she dishes it out, but reading Olliver's feature on her, I'm not sure if she will be able to.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Make space for the Buenvino cookbook on your kitchen shelves

I need another cookery book like I need a hole in my head. But after attending Jeannie and Sam Chesterton’s heaving and very glamorous book launch, I have succumbed and pre-ordered their book, the Buenvino cookbook from Amazon.

So why didn’t I buy a book at the actual launch? Because, although I arrived early at The Instituto  Cervantes in Eaton Square where the launch was held, all the hundreds of books which the publishers took sold out before I got there. At least I managed to get my hands on the ham which had arrived directly from Spain.  

Jeannie and Sam Chesterton with Tim Clinch in the middle. 

Sam Chesterton is an ancient friend, with whom I used to run around London during the Seventies. This was before he met and married his lovely wife Jeannie who is a brilliant gourmet cook.

For the past thirty years the Chestertons have run their unique Bed and Breakfast in their unique pink coloured farmhouse called Finca Buenvino on their 100 acre estate, near Seville, Andalucia, Spain.

The estate is in a protected park, with unspoiled scenery, so if one wants an idyllic holiday with beautiful views and superb food, this is the perfect place to be.

 The Chestertons grow their own certified-organic vegetables, keep their own chickens and pigs, and have apple, pear, quince and fig trees, all of which ingredients are used in the dishes, as well as local game and other seasonal produce such as mushrooms foraged from the woodland. And that's just for starters.

Jeannie also runs exciting and innovative cooking courses, explaining the Mahgrebi (North African) influences in southern Spanish recipes, many of which date from Moorish times.

All the Chestertons’ guests and friends love Finca Buenvino’s naturally produced food so much, over the years they have continually begged them to produce a cookery book and finally the couple have  done it.

Titled The Buenvino Cookbook: Recipes from our farmhouse in Spain with illustrations by Tim Clinch, this book is already a success by word of mouth alone.

The book looks gorgeous and I’m already drooling at the thought of reconstructing the unique Spanish recipes, but I shall have to wait until the official publishing date of April 15 before I can get my hands on it. Then, I shall be able to personally start cooking the Chestertons’ recipes from their wonderful farmhouse.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Terence Pepper Does Audrey Hepburn

Even though Terence Pepper (OBE) is in the middle of curating his 2015 Audrey Hepburn exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, he used his precious coffee break by escorting me round the David Bailey show at the museum.

As Bailey’s show takes up the entire ground floor, Terence ideally needed to have taken a break during lunch and dinner besides his coffee slot.

 David Bailey used to be my illustrious boss alongside David Litchfield when I slaved for Ritz Newspaper in the late twentieth century.

Bailey had hung his own show, so I found it poignant he had included ancient copies of Ritz in glass cabinets.

 Incidentally, I have a library of Terence Pepper’s signed books of all his exhibitions he has curated at the National Portrait Gallery. I look forward to adding his Audrey Hepburn one to my vast collection).

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Crushed Is Saved For Posterity

I'm so pleased that Sarah Wilborn's fantastic review of Crushed my Young Adult novel has now been saved for posterity in the Archives section on the USA Reader Views site.

Sarah was twelve when she reviewed the book after my novel first came out in 2007. Now, she is at university! Sadly, the novel is now out of print. On Amazon, I see a copy is now going for $291.32.

Thankfully, the novel's publisher Eiworth Publishing has put the book on Lulu. (The paperback costs far less on Lulu).