Tuesday, 25 November 2014
It has been a very busy 3 months. Gibbous House's crowd-funding campaign began in August and, with a few peaks and troughs, smashed through the 100% barrier in 98 days. A rate of better than 1% per day was much, much better than I dared hope for before the campaign began. Today the total stands at 105%.
So what does it mean? Well, although all of this is as new to me as it was to every single contributor, I do have some idea. Firstly, it means sometime in early summer 2015 books will be landing on doormats for everyone who pledged for them. Subsequently books should appear in some bookshops, how many books and how many bookshops, I do not know.
The latest news is that some sketches have been presented for the cover by the artist commissioned by Unbound. I am very excited about seeing them when they arrive. The manuscript will be sent for proofing around the turn of the year.
Of course, it will still be possible to get a name in the back of the book until quite a late stage, so send your friends here!
Now I'm going to draft something for the Gibbous Hut, as some call my author's shed on Unbound. There'll be an excerpt from the sequel to Gibbous House, No Good Deed or What Moffat Did Next.
Friday, 8 August 2014
As I write, the crowd-funding campaign with the publisher of a long-listed Booker contender for my novel, Gibbous House, stands at 41%. After 8 days. I'm told this is quite good. I will confess I am over a gibbous moon at the news. I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has pledged, shared a post, blogged or tweeted something to bring this about.
Now, I ask that you start boring friends and acquaintances in the pub, accost strangers in the street and even ask your partners to support this book, please.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Look at that fool, over there, on the left. He looks like some Jack from a fairy tale, he's looking into the blue yonder as he's about to step off a cliff. Hasn't the brains of his dog, who is clearly trying to warn him about his impending wily coyote treading on thin air. I like him though, that fool. Maybe the sky is particularly beautiful on that day frozen in the major arcana card.
Still, what kind of fool has a designer handbag at the end of a stick? Risking ridicule and bag-snatchers, now that is foolish. See he's got a flower in the other hand, well maybe he's the worst kind of fool. That's right. A fool in love.
Look above his head. It might be a halo, oh no, just "o", or zero. His rank in the arcana, of course.
What kind of fool designed this card? What is that yellow sky about? Are those the blue-ridged moutains of Virginia? Where is the lonesome pine? Foolish questions all.
Monday, 14 July 2014
In a joint venture by Unbound and ABCTales a crowdfunding campaign for Ewan Lawrie's novel gets underway tomorrow. From July 15th you will be able to pledge to make this novel a reality here This link will not be live until Tuesday.... but bookmark this page and you'll be able to find it then.
Saturday, 24 May 2014
At the entrance to the urbanización where I live is a sign. Some bricks and wrought iron and a hand- painted board with the name of the urbanización painted in green on a white background. The hand that painted the board maintains the sign. This hand belongs to a retired cartoonist from the Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph.
Most hot afternoons two old geezers rest using the brick-built part of the sign as a makeshift seat. There's no shade, the urbanazación's president felt it would be too costly to water a palm, if one were planted. The two walkers don't mind. They rest their long sticks against the sign and tip bottles of water carelessly over their heads. My one-minute exchange of pleasantries is enough time to watch their hair start to dry. There isn't much of it in any case - and they both wear battered straw hats with an aplomb alien to all but those who can remember a time when everyone wore a hat of some kind.
There are plastic plants around the sign. The two Andalucians shake their heads at these every time they take their ease here. Most likely they walk all the way along the old railway track to the Coin railway station building that's been derelict for over 50 years. They probably remember taking a train along here themselves at a time when few people had a car. Or maybe they rode a horse to work or lived and toiled on one of the farms now covered in northern dreams.
I expect my own northern dream – if not the whole urbanización - stands on a former horse ranch or cereal field. Sometimes I listen to the donkeys at night and in the background I believe I hear that Duquesne Whistle blow.
Friday, 16 May 2014
I have put a further shortish collection of mostly flash pieces on Smashwords.
Around 80 of your British pennies would buy it in any e-book format...
Around 80 of your British pennies would buy it in any e-book format...
40 short stories written at one a week over the course of a ten-month period. From the Andes to Andalucia and many places in between as varied a selection of short stories as will ever be read
Chato’s is on the shady side of the street, where the blocks melt into industrial units and the vans outnumber parked cars by 3 to 1. It’s a breakfast and early evening place, except if there’s football on the TV. Partisan fans who’ve never been out of Malaga Province bellow for Barcelona or Madrid - there is only one Madrid. It’s mostly friendly - if high decibel – banter. Some voices are lowered as they leave, muttering, if the result hasn’t gone their way. Then the shutters are lowered by 11 in the evening, come what may.
Morning is coffee and buñuelo time, although some of the more macho clientele have bread smothered in Manteca, an orangey, garlic-redolent lard. This tastes worse than it sounds, and smells – at second-hand – worse than it tastes. Older guys, retired or near to it, have a coffee blacker than a smoker’s lung and a clear anis in a shot glass. Then they go out to smoke. They eat neither a buñuelo nor the Devil’s Lard on Toast, being sufficiently fuelled for the day.
At about 10, the Policia Local arrive. They park their car out of view in front of the Centro Polideportivo on a street going off the other side of the road. They sit outside on the terrace and someone might wonder why they park out of sight. No-one would dream of asking them. A coffee takes them a half-an-hour and maybe this goes down in the activity log as security advice for local businesses. The Policia Local leave and the Guardia Civil arrive, most likely having occupied the self-same parking space.
There's a blackboard on a window-sill. Careful block capitals read 'There are sandwiches in the afternoon'. This carefully correct grammar is puzzling. Are there none before midday? In any event, these sandwiches will not be neat crustless triangles containing cucumber or cress. Rustic hard-crusted rolls with tomato passata and stiff, cured ham. With a glass of anis on the side, naturally.
Oh, and down here in Andalucia they're called Pitufos, which means Smurf.