Some Thoughts On The Guerilla Film Maker’s Masterclass

This piece was written and posted well over a year ago, about my experience of visiting the Guerilla Film Maker’s Master Class in the summer of 2013. It was on a different blog site and I have transcribed it wholesale, without edits or updates:

I flew into the UK for the weekend of June 15th and 16th to attend the Guerilla Film Makers Master Class held in Regent’s College, London.

Why fly thousands of miles for a weekend of film making discussion when I’ve fallen behind schedule on the rewrite of A Table In Berlin? Good question, if anyone asked it. I know I did. Continue reading

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Feedback And The Art Of Selective Brilliance

What could be better than to be brilliant?

(Actually, if I was being facetious, I could probably come up with quite a good long list but, you know, who needs facetious?) Aside from all the other things that would be nice, I can’t think of anyone – certainly not in any artistic field – who wouldn’t trade them in to hear someone say “that was brilliant.” You may not be able to take your money with you when you die, but you can take your brilliance. But how do you know whether you are, or not? Continue reading

Why I Used Real Life Inspirations for A Table In Berlin

4664101_1AContinuing the theme today of the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, I want to talk about a very close friend of my brother’s who provided the inspiration for the character of Christian Bauer in the novel A Table In Berlin. Continue reading

I’m Still Here!

I’ve just finished my first novella.

I thought it would be easier than writing a novel but, guess what?

It was.

I know, usually a writer likes to tell everyone that nothing is easier than anything else. And while I’m not saying that the writing itself was any easier (it most certainly was not) when you stop at around thirty thousand words, instead of ninety thousand words, it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that the pain doesn’t last so long.

So, by easier, I mean that I reached the end far sooner than with a full length novel and that was a psychological benefit. The gap between conception and the market place is also much shorter. This is important for those for whom writing is a job.

So, soon enough we will have Goodnight, Mrs Day available. I’ll let you know. I’m told something around the second week in November.

In the meantime, of course, I have to get on with another book.

Next time, I’ll share a few thoughts on how the process of the novella differed from the novel, and a few issues I had to deal with in relation to Mrs Day as a companion piece to A Table In Berlin.

Right now I just wanted to let you know I was still here!

Daisy White’s Booktique at Rachael’s Kitchen, Horsham

Another perspective on the recent opening of Daisy White’s Booktique in Rachael’s Kitchen.

Twenties Girl

Local authors, delicious cupcakes and a cosy interior: Horsham’s latest pop-up has it all

This weekend saw the opening of Daisy White’s Booktique, a pop-up bookshop selling work by independent and small-scale authors and publishers, on the top floor of Rachael’s Kitchen in Horsham. I went to have a look around: having never been upstairs in Rachael’s before, I was very pleased to find a warm, pretty space in which I could easily have whiled away an afternoon. Well-worn wood flooring, mismatched white wooden chairs, artwork on the walls, plus a big squishy sofa by the windows make it look like a someone’s living room (with more tables). The Booktique neatly fits into the cosy room – a simple, slimline black bookshelf sits either side of the rustic fireplace. One is for adults, the other is stocked with kids’ books. ‘Diary of a Bride to Be’ by Charlie Plunkett sits…

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My Kind Of Indie Bookshop

A Table In Berlin launches the new reading room at Rachael's Kitchen!
A Table In Berlin launches the new reading room at Rachael’s Kitchen!

Daisy White is a literary entrepreneur who has long championed the idea of independent business and supporting local traders. Her pop-up shops – Daisy White’s Booktique – focused on showcasing small independent publishers and authors, as well as artists, by taking up residence temporarily in empty High Street shops.

Well now she’s taken it the logical step forward by looking for less temporary premises and last Saturday opened a pop-up inside a gorgeous cake shop.

Yes, that’s right, a cake shop. Cup cakes, no less. And tea, and coffee and comfy chairs…

Mackerel Books said ‘yes’ to this and so A Table In Berlin has a top shelf residency for the next six months in the new reading room at Rachael’s Kitchen, 38 Carfax, Horsham. Not only that but it was Book Of The Week for the launch!

The idea is that customers can pick up a copy of a book from a box of reading copies and try them out while eating and drinking. So much better than being immersed in a smartphone. And if an author’s managed to grab the attention, there are copies for sale (or the customer can come back every afternoon for a brew until the book’s finished). I love the idea – so much more interesting than a free daily newspaper full of daily woes and a multi-national coffee shop’s decor.

I hope it does well. And I hope I see people reading A Table In Berlin the day I choose to make my surprise visit. I should have been at the opening but, guess what? I’m in the middle of a novella and my brain’s not in the right place. In other words, I can’t find my passport. I live in Fuerteventura. You don’t have to know exactly where that is, but I can tell you one thing.

It’s nowhere near Horsham.