This post is a little late going up – I was floored by an epic London cold, which has only now receded. On the 11th of May I had the treat of taking part in the first Riff Raff meet up at the Effra Social in Brixton. Five authors took part in the lineup, reading from our new books and taking audience questions. It was a great mix of genres, from the comic real-life adventures of co-host Amy Baker, to the dreamy-sounding French novel of Fran Cooper, Paul M.M Cooper’s historical novel of poetry and love, Vanessa Potter’s stunning true story of her sudden-onset blindness and subsequent recovery. For a full read up with photos that capture the cosy atmosphere of the Effra (and links to all the works) go here. If you can get to their next event (as I wish I could as an audience member) you absolutely should. Rosy and Amy are delights, and the evening promises to be every bit as good as this first one was.
If you missed me when I was down storming London, there’s another chance to see me coming up, and this time with my good friend (and excellent writer and wit) Gillian Best, author of The Last Wave. You are cordially invited to Listen Softly London at The Barley Mow on Sunday the 4th of June at 7pm. Admission is free, there will be other writers, more books for sale, and I promise to scribble something interesting in your book if you ask me to.
Some sad news: my short story collection On the Edges of Vision, which won the Saltire First Book of the Year in 2015, is facing going out of print as the publisher Queen’s Ferry Press is closing its doors. It’s a hard thing to face, unexpectedly grief-filled, though I know of many other authors who have gone through this. Small indie presses, the risk takers, the ones who support what might otherwise be marginalised into silence, are always in precarious positions. I greatly hope there is life yet for my collection, but until something is sorted out, copies of the book are still being sold here, and I will bring down the handful I have to sell at Listen Softly London. If you have read and enjoyed my work, or the work of any other writer, really – support us and our presses by leaving reviews, and writing to us, and passing your battered copies on to friends and family. It’s lonely old work here, always on the precipice of the abyss. Love and appreciation to those who have put themselves so far out over it to get our words out in the world.
Still – more ahead for Flesh of the Peach. I’ll be on some podcasts discussing it (& writing process, & publishing experiences, & gun smuggling incidents & other books I love etc. etc) soon, so links will be here when I have them to share. For now – I’m off to bury myself in work and reading. Happy times.