Wednesday 18 October 2023


Fantastic Books massive Autumn Book Launch started this weekend on Youtube, and will continue on the following two weekends, ending on the 4th November.

The schedule is here:

The official launch of my new book The Umbrellas of Hamelin will be on Saturday the 28th October at 2.00 p.m.   It may contain a short video of me (not looking in the least like Kate Moss for some incomprehensible reason) and my brother talking to each other about our writing. We tried to keep it short and interesting. We did it unscripted and in one take - as we showbiz types say.  (Editor: Do I have the jargon right?)

Or that video may turn up in another venue.  I don't know yet.

I can't remember what else will happen in the 23 minute launch. But I think there may be a recording of me reading Talky Tin, the shortest story in the book. It is really short as I wrote it for a Flash Fiction competition.  It stars our fierce and lovely old Saudi cat Whites, so I hope you will drop in and meet him.

The videos will remain online. And the videos from this first weekend of MABLE are well worth a watch.  I especially liked Mark Henderson's introduction of his book Peak District Folktales.  My northern English hometown ends suddenly and you are in the lovely Peak District, so Mark's presentation brought back many childhood memories of Sunday picnics on the moorland there.  We would have cheese sandwiches and a slice of my mother's Victoria sponge.  Back then we longed for what we called "oogie googie cakes", i.e. shop bought with cream and vivid red jam in them. Nowadays of course I would swap a crate of them for a slice of my mother's cake. She was a very good cook, even with the minimal ingredients available in the post-war England of our childhood. 

And if you are interested in writers, writing and the writing process (as I am) you will enjoy the conversation between novelists Penny Frances and Mary Brown.  Penny's novel Riding the High Road is being launched at this year's MABLE.  

The video is up on Youtube, links above.  And my Waiting for Gordo gets a mention along with Linda Nicklin's Storm Girl and Stuart Aken of The Generation Mars series, in the Spotlight on Eco-Thrillers.  All of us are concerned in our various ways with what is happening in and to the world, though my book takes no political stance.  

The conversation between Linda and Stuart is well worth a listen. I was not part of it, though I was longing to leap in and point out that it is only the Kingdom of God, the heavenly government, for whose coming Jesus taught us to pray, that can put things right on the earth. 

But that is what, as a Jehovah's Witness, I am always trying to tell people. 

We are supposed to be in for a big storm today. And looking out the window, early in the morning, I can say it is overcast, a little bit blowy, and there are some waves on The Channel.  The balcony geraniums are starting to wave about like little flags.

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