Thursday, 20 June 2013

"Winter Count" the book launch

Saturday night was a first for me. It was the first book launch I've ever been to and it was a real family affair. Friends and relations all gathered in Foyle's bookshop in Bristol to welcome "Winter Count" into print. The anthology of his poems is the work of my nephew Peter Naumann, the cover was designed by my sister the artist Anuk Naumann who together with her husband Roger had helped to organise the event.

It was a great evening. Greeted by glasses of Prosecco there was time to chat to my mum and Peter Oran the owner of Starborn Books who published "Winter Count" before the main event.

Pete, must have been a little nervous, I know I would have been, but he came across as funny, self assured and totally in control of his material  as he told us about himself, his journey to publication and his work. Then he read a selection from the book, explaining each poem and giving an insight into  what had inspired it.

His poems are dense, alive with with imagery and rich in language. They are poems to be pondered over, their meanings teased out and debated. All of which could be daunting for a reading event, but not this one. Even the most inexperienced poetry reader couldn't help enjoying both the reading, the interview by Peter Oran and of course the poems themselves.


"Winter Count" is available from

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Being on the Radio.

It's something every writer has to do. It's no good writing the book, or the short story, or the play you have to get out there and promote your work and, dare I say it, yourself.

For me this is the hardest part of my writing life. As far as I'm concerned I'd be more than happy sitting in my office working away at my computer. Of course I want people to read what I'm writing but I rather wish it would just happen in some nebulous, magical way and I didn't have to go around telling everyone how wonderful my latest is and how they really have to read, if not actually buy it.

Still that isn't going to happen, so in the meantime I need to do the whole promotion thing. Which is where being on Cre8 radio on Monday night came in.

The first thing I have to say about the experience is how much I enjoyed it. Even before I'd reached the studio Rosie was there to greet me, and Paul Oldfield and Chris and fellow guests Jason and Laura made me feel very welcome.

Talking to Paul on air was like chatting to an old friend. What made it really easy was the fact that like the true professional he is, Paul had done his homework and the questions he asked gave me plenty of scope to talk about my books and the way I write. We also touched on my views on education and the years I spent living in Jamaica, so there were no awkward pauses when I searched my brain for something to say, or, I hope, many "ums" and "ahs".

By the time it came to reading a chapter of "Dark Angel" I was having fun and I hope my listeners were too.

Spooky stories on radio always come across well. There are plenty more in my collection and there's the rest of the book too. Maybe someone, sometime will have a slot for "Tales before Midnight." A series of stories to chill the blood and keep you awake until the first slither of light slips in under the curtains.