Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
After days of rain, sleet, snow - not to mention the small fact of last year being the UK's wettest on record and leaving much of the ground totally saturated still - the woodland and marshes around the University of East Anglia grounds have flooded quite beautifully.
Saturday, 9 March 2013
A couple of days ago I published a short novel via Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing service. As a former bookseller I will always choose the beauty and sensuality of a physical book if given the chance: however, I do like the potential ebook publishing offers. Arty chapbooks aside, literature doesn't quite have its equivalent of the DIY culture of music and film: self-published works produced by dodgy vanity press companies often feel and look cheap and nasty. There's rarely the thrill of looking through the undiscovered: something I have actually experienced whilst browsing through listings of ebooks online. The market is still dominated by established authors and established publishing houses, and I can't see that changing any time soon, but it's cool to have the possibility of having mad, bizarre, original content up there in easy reach.
My book is called 'The Sinners of Crowsmere.' It's trim - about 13300 words - and I include about a dozen photographs, some from EastScapes and re-edited, some seeing the light for the first time. The blurb reads thus:
"A man is released from prison and returns to his coastal home town. Broken figures inhabit a decaying landscape. Curses and crows haunt the air.
As influenced by the transgressive writings of Dennis Cooper and Derek McCormack as the East Anglian ghost stories of M R James, The Sinners of Crowsmere is a bleakly skeletal novel about erosion, misogyny, folklore, old photographs, and half-remembered films."
The book's relationship to EastScapes is actually fairly strong - it started life as me attempting to put my photography into words, and sort of remained that way. As a reader, I'm not terribly interested in page-turning thrillers with complex plot and character interactions: I prefer things that are stranger, follow their own pace, wander off the track into the wilderness, sometimes returning, sometimes not. If this sounds like a preemptive defense of any criticism, well, I guess it kind of is - but it's also true. Authors I have found massively inspirational include the likes of Dennis Cooper, Derek McCormack, and Harmony Korine - all of whom dance to the beat of their own drum, and all of whom have crafted beautiful pieces of writings that at times seem so spare and slight they could at any moment fade into the nothingness.
'The Sinners of Crowsmere' is also, of course, about the East Anglian landscape, my usual obsessions all correct and present - coastal erosion, darkness beneath the surface of the landscape, M R Jamesian folklore, broken things. Its subtitle is 'A Fractured Novella,' and that's how I like to think of it: broken, oddly-shaped, a bit freaky. Hopefully like some of the images I stick up here.
'The Sinners of Crowsmere' can be seen here:
Buy The Sinners of Crowsmere here