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How To Be A Deranged Poetess

In case you missed the simple pleasure that was the #derangedpoetess hashtag kicking about on Twitter, I shall briefly summarise. Last week, a journalist called Oliver Thring wrote what can be read as a pretty sexist piece for the Sunday Times about poet Sarah Howe, winner of the T.S.Eliot prize. Some fellow female poets then tweeted to suggest the language he used was somewhat crass (this overview by Katy Evans-Bush details that line of thinking). Thring responded by saying he was being harangued by ‘deranged poetesses’. Continue reading “How To Be A Deranged Poetess”

The Book Blogger Files #6 – Jess Haigh (aka BookElfLeeds)

Me black and white smilingThis week The Book Blogger Files features Jess Haigh, who you may know from Twitter as @BookElfLeeds.  She’s not exclusively a book blogger, but she does know her books and bookish events, so I wanted to find out more about her site.  Here goes!

Continue reading “The Book Blogger Files #6 – Jess Haigh (aka BookElfLeeds)”

We Could Be Heroes

Yesterday, Luath Press (an independent Scottish Publisher) asked Twitter for their best literary heroes.

Continue reading “We Could Be Heroes”

East of the Sun, West of the Moon

This is an update for those who followed my progress with the 28 Drawings Later Challenge in February, when I came up with promotional ideas for a play called East of the Sun, West of the Moon (which is coming to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August).

The company has had to change its name from Inglenook to Homespun, so sadly my wee teapot logo is now useless – but that is the only thing that has changed really.  The show is taking shape – it’s a family production with four actors playing all the parts and it is going to be in The Surgeon’s Hall 3rd – 25th August at 12.10 every day except Sunday.

I am telling you all this because I am the media contact, and it’s my job to go on about it at great length until you’ve all bought your tickets.  It also means one of my pictures – which regular readers saw here on the blog first – is officially in the Fringe Programme – how exciting!

I am in the process of getting the company onto all your favourite social media sites – we are on Twitter @HomespunUK and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HomespunTheatre so please follow and ‘like’ us if you can!

And now, a little animation I made:

Why I Write

Day 003 - Shame
J'accuse! © Marc-Andre Lariviere

A shocking guest post from The Rogue Verbumancer, who some of you may know as @Glempy from the twitter.

I shall endeavour to make a point.

I shall invariably fail.

Are we all sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin.

Before I go any further I’ve a confession to make: I am a horrible, horrible fraud. I offered to do a guest post here at 12 books and was ready to dive headlong into all manner of topics. But alas, I cannot. The guilt is just too much. You see, I’m not actually a writer.

Continue reading “Why I Write”

Interview: EJ Newman

EJ Newman

I was faffing about on the Twitter back in January when SF author Ken MacLeod retweeted a message about 20 Years Later, the debut novel from EJ Newman. I hadn’t come across her work previously, but a quick look at her website told me I had to get in touch to find out more, as her creative output puts mine to shame!  She found time in her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her debut novel (a mystery set in post-apocalyptic London), current projects (Split Worlds, which involves producing a new story every week for a year and a day) and supporting local bookshops.

“I’m often asked what it is about dystopian novels that grabs the YA reader’s imagination, and I always like to point out this is nothing new – every generation post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels have a surge in popularity. When I was growing up it was The Tripods and Empty World (that was the first post-apocalyptic novel I read) and there’s the perennial appeal of the books 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 for example. The only different today is that the “YA market” has been explicitly defined in a way it wasn’t the last time this sub-genre was popular.

That aside, the reason it keeps being popular is quite simple I think; dystopian fiction explores problems and threats that already exist all around us, but writ large. In most dystopian fiction the reader is given a hero who resists the system, who wants to fight despite how dangerous it is – thereby enabling us to live out our own fantasies vicariously. When I was a teen, I was constantly furious at adults who were simply ignoring terrible things going on in the world. In dystopian fiction, the heroes actually do something about it.

Continue reading “Interview: EJ Newman”

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