Thursday, July 24, 2008


In 2008 two of the writers concerned, Mark Piggott and Sulaiman Addonia, published their debut novels. Mark Piggott's book 'Fire Horses' is published by Legend Press, while Sulaiman Addonia's came out with Random House and is called 'The Consequences Of Love'. Another of the writers, Lane Ashfeldt, has won an international short story prize, while Joe Ambrose, who was already a published novelist, has a new book out with HeadPress.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Buy the book

'Down the Angel and Up Holloway' was published in a limited edition and is now no longer available.

4 Dec at the Angel, Amwell St

Readings from: Joe Ambrose, Eula Harrison, Julie Rayne. (short stories with mince pies -- another literary first?)
The Amwell Book Company, 53 Amwell Street, London EC1. 6pm-7pm

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Well, at Borders there was a fair-sized and fairly enthusiastic crowd. Also — and this was literary first for me, at least — we had a DOG among the audience. The dog's owner was a friend of Julie Balloo, who was there to read her story Pop Goes the Weasel. Sadly there is no documentary evidence of this event... Shame. Our struggles with the dodgy PA might have made amusing watching afterwards, if they didn’t feel so very amusing at the time. In the end Julie had me switch off the amp. All in all it can't have been that bad though, because most people were buying. And everyone went down the Angelic (pub) afterwards, except those of us with child labour in tow.

Launch at the Angel

Well - tonight's the night, Borders the Angel, in about two hours time. Tonight Julie Rayne and Phoebia Freeman are among the readers. Also Andrew LLoyd-Jones, and Julie Balloo who is writing partner to Jenny Eclair. Jenny read the book and said lots of nice things about it, so everyone at Pulp Net thinks she is fantastic and waves at her when they see her on tube posters.
Good news - the first mail order just arrived.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


ARSENAL RED ZONE - 23 Oct - private event

BORDERS ANGEL - 2 Nov - 6pm


Diary dates

I now think secretaries must be geniuses. And I want one. It has taken far too long to set up these events. Maybe it’s my fault for wasting a day trying to arrange an event in the Oak Room at the Water Board's old offices near Sadlers Wells. (Which has not as yet come off, although I had a pleasant mobile phone conversation with a nice lady who was about to go on holiday, and who presumably forgot all about it. It would have been a perfect place to hear Charlie Mayor’s Notable Mentions the Statue.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Party planning

Lots of thought has gone into the launch of DOWN THE ANGEL. (Best say this now in case that’s not how it seems on the day.) I was working late tonight, firming up on dates and venues, when Aisha, who cleans the building, came clanking along the corridor with her bucket and mop, so I asked if she fancied coming. She’s cool, Aisha; she’s often last in the building and she’s never bothered about locking up on her own. The bit I dread is the struggle with the dodgy padlock while people pass by right behind me — makes me feel like I’ve a target sign on my back. This morning at the cashpoint on Seven Sisters four women pelted past, chasing some bloke who’d nicked one of their handbags. They hurtled into a sidestreet yelling and screaming at him. He was a fast runner though, I think he got away. Aisha is no more afraid of booklaunches than she is of street thieves, and said she’d love to come. She’s even bringing her kids, so I guess now we have an excuse to buy crisps...

Thursday, September 14, 2006


The printers accidentally made a few hinged copies as well as the unhinged ones we specified, and are making us a present of those extras... Books will arrive very soon. Meanwhile, I am feeling a little unhinged also. The venue we planned to use for launch has fallen through. We need a local launch venue, because some of the contributors can't travel very far. Where??

Monday, September 11, 2006


I visit the printers before they move on to binding, since I happen to be in the area. The site is huge, in a kind of business park set-up (it is the print division of CUP). I hide my bike outside, not wanting to look too scruffy, and wait in a palatial reception area for what seems weeks until my contact, Ken, arrives.

The unbound sections and jacket he shows me both look fine. There's some under-inking, but that may be the matt paper stock. Overall I'm happy enough, it's getting there. Ken insists on sending a bound sample, because he’s convinced the cover should be scored. But I hate score marks. On my personal list of all-time print crimes, they are up there with shiny white inside pages, gloss laminate covers, and embossed gold titles or author names. Ooops, am I being too book-geeky here?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dropout letters

Dropout is the term favoured by the printer to describe the L's and K's missing from the proofs. I circle the gaps where the letters used to be. It takes hours. Not one of us can offer any plausible explanation: I am stumped, the designer rechecks all the files for clues, even the printer admits how mysterious it all is. [Nothing personal, but I'd been hoping not to hear from him again until after the book was printed]. The closest anyone gets to working out what has gone wrong is M, who suggests the letters L and K have been over-used, and that we may now be facing a global shortage. B OODY FUC ING MARVE OUS...

Monday, August 28, 2006

So many passwords, so little time

When I woke up after said booklag, I'd forgotten the magic words to get into my blog. All I got was: "Username and password do not match". Maybe it will actually be a relief when they bring on fingerprint recognition, in some ways. Anyway, things are moving along, the printers sent back all the lasers for me to sign off. Like lawyers and bankers, printers are big on actual hard copy signatures, I can't just email and tell them it's all fine... So I better reread them tonight. They want them back by tomorrow, which is a bit keen. Today is a bank holiday. (How did they know I'd even be in work?)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Putting it to bed

A phrase that was bandied around a lot when I freelanced on monthlies. Everyone canes it coming up to press day; then when it's over, they go down the pub to celebrate "putting the issue to bed". Now, though, it's me that gets put to bed. I've been working earlies and lates, it's been intense. After dinner I lie down on the sofa for a nap, and dont wake for 15 hours. Sleep of the dead. Booklag, I love it!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Unquotable quotes

An author has looked at the proofs and says he will provide a quote. Great, but Pulp Net's chair isn’t wild about it:

"Dido, Tony Blair, over-zealous traffic wardens....not everyone in Islington is a total c--t, as this collection adroitly illustrates."

I think it's funny, Alstair suggests using it with the U and N reinstated. But will it help sell the book? We have no way of knowing. Anyway, it is use it or lose it; a quick decision is needed. We go with another of his quotes instead.

Also waiting for one from Jenny Eclair, but it may be too late when it reaches us...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Over, or not?

The whole book is in art now. Almost out of my hands. The printers want hard copy of everything, so we must slow down and stop wanting everything done same-day. It will take at least 3 weeks, maybe more (someone there is on holiday, this may slows things further). Will post a finish date when it’s agreed.

Notable Mentions

Some last minute hoo-ha between Charlie Mayor and me over Sir Hugh Myddleton (statue with the melty face on Islington Green, + man in charge of building the New River, which brought water to London in the early 1600's). Did he die rich or poor? A fog of competing histories surrounds him. Charlie changes a few words, leaving options open for multiple variants of the Myddleton saga.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Did I write that?

About the "few small edits and tweaks" I mean? Because I didn't finish until half nine, and it ain't over. T works on the web a lot so for the him the idea of a print job — an actual good old-fashioned book — is mysterious and exciting, and he's working hard on getting it right. The downside is, add his perfectionism to mine, and we may never pass a single page, we'll be in proofs forever. At least that's how it feels right now... It's like the inertia you get just before moving house when, despite the fact that all around you everyday items are being swallowed up by cardboard boxes, you somehow stop believing the move will ever happen...
When I finished, I locked up and walked home along back streets in the dark, a little jumpy as I passed the place where the murder signs were a few months back. Too much coffee, I expect.

A time to work, a time to blog

How do other people find time to blog? If it is choice between getting stuff done and making a blog entry, the book has to win right now. All the authors who need to come back have done so, I think. Spent yesterday in meetings with designers. Have reprinted it for "one final read" -- a few more small edits and tweaks to make.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


An author who has approved his pages gets back in contact to say his name was mis-spelled. Ouch. But there are other hold-ups too, so it is not a problem to make the change.