Bookseeker Literary Agency

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“Yet here’s a postscript…”

… to the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

You never know who you’re going to bump into in Charlotte Sq. Here’s a back view of someone whose face you would know, if he turned round. He wasn’t appearing at the festival, but he’s obviously for some purpose, as he’s studying the map and getting his bearings. Do you recognise him? If you do, feel free to tweet to me @BookseekerAgent. I’ll give you a clue: he’s quite interesting, and he used to be a name to conjure with.

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2018-08-23 05 AD

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Another Book Festival has come and gone…

I mean, of course, THE Book Festival – the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It officially shut up shop yesterday, but as usual I have been around and about for the past extended fortnight, chatting, snapping, reviewing, occasionally getting in the way. I’m not going to waste too many words here, I’m just going to post my usual mini montage. All photos © Paul Thompson unless otherwise noted.

It wouldn’t be Charlotte Square without a couple of shots of Prince Albert, so here’s one with a seagull…

2018-08-14 07 Albert & Gull

and one with a contrail. These show this year’s changeable weather in Edinburgh.

2018-08-15 06 contrail over CH Sq

2018-08-14 05 ranks of Rankin

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, seen here in the main signing tent, introduced us to two emerging poets…

2018-08-14 13 CAD

Keith Hutson and Mark Pajak.

2018-08-14 14 Hutson & Pajak

Two generations of the Mandela family joined us from South Africa.

2018-08-14 17 2 generations of Mandelas

The vin van:

2018-08-15 01 the vin van

2018-08-14 03b Chris Close

 

Chris 1
Chris 2
Chris 3

There’s always something going on, even if I’m not quite sure what…

2018-08-15 03 always something happening

Louis de Bernières was here again.
2018-08-14 12 LdB

Theatres

2018-08-18 01b June at the Book festival

“Smile please, Sir!” call the photographers
2018-08-15 09 Gordon Brown Smile

Photo call for economist, broadcaster, and author Linda Yueh

2018-08-15 10 Linda Yueh

Happening to be in the right place at the right time, and with many thanks both to Festival Director Nick Barley and to the two storytellers, I was able to get some lovely exclusive photos of Maimouna Jallow and Mara Menzies!

2018-08-15 11b Jallow and Menzies

The Bookshop is always busy. I say the Bookshop, but there are at least three – four if you count the shelves in the main signing tent. Anyhow, this is a shot from inside the big one in Charlotte Sq.

2018-08-21 06 Bookshop

Science(ish)ists Rick Edwards and Michael Brooks
2018-08-21 13 Rick Edwards & Michael Brooks

Two shots of ‘Makar’ Jackie Kay, one at her photo call, the other in the signing tent when she spots Ali Smith and another friend in the queue. Jackie always brings brightness into the Festival.

2018-08-21 17 Jackie Kay2018-08-21 18 Jackie Kay

And here is Ali Smith, who was here helping to celebrate Muriel Spark’s centenary.

2018-08-21 01 Ali Smith

A natural break for one of the Festival staff. What better than to read a book!

2018-08-21 15 Natural break

Catherine Nixey, book signing in George Street.

2018-08-21 19 Catherine Nixey

Alice Strang was here, promoting the fine book she edited on Scottish Modern Art in the first half of the Twentieth Century.

2018-08-15 12 Alice Strang

Another famous face – June Sarpong.

2018-08-15 13 June Sarpong

Brian Dillon appears pensive…

2018-08-23 09 Brian Dillon

Jim Broadbent and Dix, whose unusual graphic novel Dull Margaret (which Jim positions somewhere between Victoria Wood and Hammer Horror) was featured in the Baillie Gifford Theatre.

2018-08-23 06 Dix and Broadbent

And if you can blag a selfie with a National Treasure, why not!

2018-08-23 08 selfie time with JB

And as usual, there is always time for leisure at the Festival.

2018-08-23 07 moments of leisure

All being well, I hope to be back there same time next year.

PT.

2018-08-23 05 AD


‘Walk Proud’ – Skinhead manuscript is going out to publishers!

2019 will see the 50th anniversary of the year when the word ‘Skinhead’ hit the UK media. In time for that semicentennial, ‘The Firm’ – a group of people who were there when it all kicked off – converse with each other, and respond to questions. What was it really like in 1969?Skins2

Bookseeker Agency frontman Paul Thompson was invited to be the editor for the book, although it really was a collective effort. BBC Radio6 DJ Don Letts has promised a foreword in due course – you may have seen Paul on Don’s 2016 documentary The Story of Skinhead on BBC4, as he was there back in the day too!

Walk Proud tackles such issues as

Did Skinheads evolve from the Mods?

What was the link to the American ‘Ivy League’ style, and where did Skins get those button-down shirts and wing-tip brogues?

Was it all boots and braces and football?

Were there run-ins with Greasers, the Old Bill, and South Asians?

Drugs or booze?

What did Skinhead girls really wear?

Yell – the invention of the modern fanzine, or a mistake that never got off the ground?

Race and politics.

Was Skinhead essentially a London thing?

Slade or Desmond Dekker – what was the true ‘sound’ of Skinhead?

Skinheads and the media – “Do they mean us?”

They don’t always agree with each other, but their conversations bring out details which might otherwise have been lost to social history. That’s one of the main reasons why the book has been put together. The media, both reportage and drama, have been getting things wrong almost since day one, from Softly Softly Task Force to Inspector George Gently, and later copycat movements have turned the whole thing into a para-political travesty. So this book is a vital piece of that social history.

The book is now going out to publishers. But if you’re a non-fiction publisher and you’re reading this and you think you can market it, don’t wait for us to get in touch with you

Skins1

 

 

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The artwork and images in this article are not necessarily from the book.


‘Lose Like a Human’ wins prizes at Hyperdrive!

Lose like a humanLast weekend, the 19th and 20th May, the Hyperdrive Festival took place in Hailsham, Sussex. Twenty-five films were shown over the two days, including Lose Like a Human, written by Luka Vukos and Fergus Doyle, and directed by Luka Vukos. You’ll remember that we mentioned this project – Luka’s directorial debut – in an earlier update here.

Well I am delighted to say that the film won prizes at this festival, its first outing. Firstly DB Hews lifted the trophy for Best Original Score. Moreover the film won the Audience Choice Award! Very well done everyone!

I believe we won’t have to wait very long for the movie’s excellent music, written and played by DB Hews with vocals by Cara Lynch, to be available. Keep your eyes and ears open, because it’s beautiful.

More news about all this as and when it happens. I know that Luka’s mind is bubbling with ideas for future projects.

2018-05-18 01 Hyperdrive prizes

Fergus Doyle, Adri Rodríguez Muñoz (Casting Manager & Creative Consultant), Luka Vukos, and DB Hews, pictured at Hyperdrive.


“Reading ‘Split Decision’ is the best decision you can make.”

Jack Woodward 200

Jack Woodward

Recently broadcaster Jack Woodward came across a copy of Carmen Capuano‘s novel Split Decision. Here’s what he had to say about it.

I thought this was a compelling and enthralling read, from beginning to end. We’ve all had ‘sliding doors’ moments in our lives ( though not many with quite such dramatic consequences I hope! ), and the two parallel stories were superbly and sensitively told.

 Lots of surprises, twists and turns along the way and excellent use of language to convey the emotions, also covering a range of issues, from friendship to family, loyalty to jealousy.

 For the whole book to be based on a time period of less than 24 hours was a challenge but it worked well, written in such an intelligent way that flitting between the two narratives is in no way confusing for the reader, it actually helps build the suspense.

splitI’m one of those people who likes to read a couple of chapters a night but I just couldn’t put this one down and had to keep going right through to the nail biting finale. Riveting and remarkable, this author really knows how to get you right on the edge of your seat.

 In fact, reading Split Decision is the best decision you can make.

 


Introducing Michael Shand

Michael Shand 300Michael Shand is a Scottish playwright and author. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife Sara, his son Charlie, and a couple of crazy cats. And we are pleased to welcome him to the circle of authors represented by this agency.

Between 2006 and 2015 Michael completed thirty plays, many of which were produced in festivals throughout Scotland by That’s Lunch Productions. His forte and preferred medium of expression is Scottish vernacular, and he says that his works “tend to highlight the wickedness of human nature and mankind’s inherent instinct for survival.” Several of his plays have been shortlisted for awards and in competitions, and his one-man piece Depravity won an Arts Trust for Scotland Award.

His new novel, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, which the agency will be presenting to publishers later this year, tells of what happens when someone drops a bag full of money on top of three unsuspecting homeless people, sheltering from the rain under a bridge in 1990s Edinburgh. Kidnap, violence, murder, and betrayal happen, in a helter-skelter of action.

Readers of John Banville will recognise the novel’s introspection, and those of Irvine Welsh the barbarity and humour. It rubs shoulders with the works of Ian Banks and Kate Atkinson, and readers of either would enjoy it.

Watch this space for more news about Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. Publishers who would like to get in touch in advance of our official promotion – and get in first! – please feel free to do so.