Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Ross Benjamin)

Daniel Kehlmann and Ross Benjamin have together created an updated version of the tales of Tyll Ulenspiegel, trickster. There is a long line of retellings of this man’s story. He first appeared in print in a pamphlet published in 1515 which has Tyll born in Brunswick in the 1300s and dying of the plague inContinue reading “Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Ross Benjamin)”

The Draftsman – Laurel Lindström

Synopsis (which I am pretending I didn’t write) of The Draftsman due for publication 29th April Martin Cox left school at 16 with stellar grades. But too traumatised to progress any further academically, he instead took a low-paid, low-skilled job in a local drafting office. Over the course of a couple of years Martin progressesContinue reading “The Draftsman – Laurel Lindström”

STOP PRESS

Pushing on towards the woods as his moment with the hens faded, Martin had an unfamiliar sense of confidence and control. He could hear running water before sudden shards of memory sliced sharp and brutal through his senses. They wiped out images of feathers and dust and warm sunlight and instead he felt his mother’s touch and heard his own whimpers drowned in the sound of running water. Close by a cow was drinking from a water trough with an automated filler on it. In the hissing gurgling sounds a long-dead voice whispered, ‘Let me help you.’ Martin felt again her touch steal wet and cold across the picture. An arctic cold bathroom, glittered with white tiles, the cold tap running, chilled menace. The voice. The sound of the water. Martin stopped dead in his tracks. He heard the surging sound now easing, as the cow finished drinking and stepped away. Martin was on his knees.

#The Draftsman and technology in the age of XXX

The world is awash with writers, fitness trainers, dog walkers, chefs and book bloggers. And around each of them is a web of service providers, sales channels and even sometimes paying customers. As a début author (#The Draftsman) I am totally drowned in an ocean of other writers and overwhelmed by the expectations of what one must do to stand out and build a following in the wild, wild world of XXX where XXX means whatever you want. It doesn’t seem to have much to do with the work, the actual book, but everything to do with how skilled you are at managing the online channels, from Amazon to Wattpad (don’t ask). And I am absolutely crap at it. I don’t want a relationship with algorithms or the XXX anons.

The Draftsman’s playlist: music and a novel

I was reading somewhere that authors like to have a particular playlist running in the background while they are working. I cannot imagine anything more annoying or likely to mess up what I am trying to write. But perhaps it depends on the type of music you like and if you like super samey blandContinue reading “The Draftsman’s playlist: music and a novel”

The Draftsman Launch Imminent

Unlike the actual book production process, reaching the point where a manuscript is finalised has been long and slow. And it’s left plenty of time to ponder that despite advances in digital prepress, the book publishing process is about as efficient as it was in the days of hot metal typesetting. Book people still actuallyContinue reading “The Draftsman Launch Imminent”

Lenny & the Mouse King

Lenny the Lion Cat was cross. He had been sitting outside the place where he knew the mice had their burrow for nearly an hour. And yet not a single mouse had so much as shown its nose. Lenny could hear them though, whispering under the grass. “Shhhh” “Don’t you shhh me” “Nanna please, there’sContinue reading “Lenny & the Mouse King”

A Little Black Book

The credit card companies had cancelled all his cards. His wife was degenerating rapidly and he couldn’t pay the carers, and the signs of dereliction showing in the house were too many to ignore. The post didn’t bring bills any more. Those had stopped coming and now it was just legal letters, angry letters fromContinue reading “A Little Black Book”