Bookseeker Literary Agency

Introducing authors and publishers.


‘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.

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“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.


Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017

Paul writes:

The Edinburgh International Book Festival is in its last few days. I have spent a great deal of time there this year, but instead of writing about it, I’ve decided to compile a kind of photo-essay of the people and views I came across. Enjoy.

11 a damp day

My first day in Charlotte Square Gardens this year started damp, so here’s a monochrome study to start you off.

6 Sunil Khilnani

Professor Sunil Khilnani, writer and academic.

8 Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay, Scotland’s ‘Makar’ (our Poet Laureate).

12 Jackie Kay

Jackie is a charming person who interacts with genuine friendliness with her readers.

1 chris close

Every year, photographer Chris Close makes portraits of visiting authors and speakers, stringing the results up around the Festival’s walkways. There’s a small sample below.

2 Chris close3 chris close

4 chris close

Left to right. Top: Ade Edmondson, Liu Zhenyun, Greg James & Chris Smith. Centre: Simon Armitage, Ehsan Abdollahil, Mariana Enriquez. Bottom: The Last Poets, Paul Auster, Andy Hamilton.

7 Magnus Mills

Magnus Mills

10 Nick Barley, Misha Hoekstra, Daniel Hahn

Festival Director Nick Barley with Misha Hoekstra and Daniel Hahn – members of the panel for ‘The Power of Translation’.

28 Children's bookshop

5 filming

Braving the video camera.

13 Penny Pepper

Penny Pepper. I love the control knob on her wheelchair!

9 flashpack

Sometimes a shot of the professional photographers is too good to miss…

14 Paul Auster photocall

… here they are, capturing American literary giant Paul Auster.

16 Hanif Kureishi

Hanif Kureishi in conversation with a reader.

15 Sir Charlie Stinky Socks

Sir Charlie Stinky Socks proudly showing his author’s pass.

17 Laura Hughes and Pip Jones

Laura Hughes and Pip Jones.

20 Leon Morocco

Leon Morocco.

18 Gin tent

The Edinburgh Gin Tent, just outside the main book-signing venue, is many people’s favourite place to relax and chat about Festival stuff.

21 Josie Billington & Rick Rylance

Academics Josie Billington and Rick Rylance, who were at the festival to talk about ‘Is Literature Healthy?’ and ‘Literature and the Public Good’.

22 John Banville

John Banville.

19 gimme 5

“Gimme Five!”

25 Karl Ove Knausgaard

Karl Ove Knausgaard.

26 Bookshop

The profits from the bookshops here at the Festival all go back into Festival funds.

29 Robert Muchamore

Author Robert Muchamore drew a large crowd of secondary school students to his book-signing.

23 photographer

I’m not the only person who goes around getting ‘atmosphere shots’ in Charlotte Square Gardens.

31 Doug Johnstone

An animated Doug Johnstone.

27 who are we now

“Who are we now?”

32 Alex Scheffler

Alex Scheffler.

30 Richard English

Professor Richard English, who spoke about the controversial issues raised by his new book ‘Does Terrorism Work?’

24 shadows lengthen

Late afternoon, and shadows begin to lengthen in Charlotte Square.

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The copyright of the images on this page rests with the photographers; no reproduction may be made without written permission.


‘The Solar Wind IV’ finds a place in the heart.

solar-wind-ivReviewer Colleen Chesebro recently had the following to say about the fourth in the Solar Wind series by Lyz Russo:

Volume Four brings the pirate assassin, Federi, and his wife, the lovely genetic engineer/musician, Paean, back together at long last. When these two are apart, the Solar Wind never rides smooth on the waves beneath its bow. Something is off, though, and Federi’s gypsy intuition is pushed into overdrive to figure out what is wrong.

Suddenly, a new threat surfaces when Dana, an alien from the planet New Dome, arrives aboard the ship with an agenda all her own. The hauntingly beautiful Dana disrupts the newfound relationship between the Captain and Perdita when it is revealed that she is Rushka’s mother. Perdita is stunned and watches, filled with fury, as the Captain succumbs once again to Dana’s evil charms. Meanwhile, Rushka, pregnant with her first child remembers the cruelty she suffered at the hands of her alien mother when she was a young child.

And, if that wasn’t enough drama, mutant creatures are menacing the crew, threatening their very lives. The beings can’t be destroyed, and they regenerate themselves from a single living cell. They multiply into the thousands with only one thing on their mind – to kill. When one of the creatures attacks Federi, the team battles for his and their lives looking for solutions to save the world from certain destruction.

lyz-russo

Lyz Russo

Perdita is the key to protecting humankind from Dana’s malevolence. If they can save Federi, there is still hope…

I have been reading the Solar Wind Series for some time now, and I must say, I enjoyed Book IV, Raider, the best! The characters have long ago found a place in my heart. Once again, it is the relationship between Paean and Federi that steer the crew into new adventures. The addition of space travel and the ability to beam to any location in an instant added another layer of mystique to the plot.

Lyz Russo has created a science fiction series that continues to entertain and invite the reader into the world of the Solar Wind, and its crew. This futuristic pirate fantasy is one of my favorites!

Read more about Solar Wind IV here.


“Snappy dialogue and excellent writing – worth trying!”

1

A recent reader’s opinion of Carmen Capuano’s Split Decision:

Snappy dialogue and excellent writing – worth trying! Looking at this because I like Carmen’s The Owners series. Not sure whether it’ll appeal to male readers as much as female but she can write and her dialogue is spot on – she makes her conversations sound real…


Edinburgh International Book Festival

1.1I have just spent a long fortnight in and out of the International Book Festival in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. this has become an annual thing for me, and I have a whale of a time even though I’m actually engaged in hard work. while I’m there I’m writing, tweeting, talking, taking photos, so when I get back I don’t really want to write any more. So here’s an essay in photographs rather than words, about the scenes and faces at this year’s festival.

The photos were taken on a bog-standard Nikon D50 or an iPad.

PT

2.2 Graham Swift

Graham Swift

2.4 Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin

2.1 Ali Smith

Ali Smith

1.2 a wave of beards

A wave of beards swept through Charlotte Square. I think that’s author Philip Ardagh on the right.

2.2 Iain Macwhirter

Iain Macwhirter

Chris Close’s excellent photo-portraits of visiting writers etc. were on display again this year. The exhibition was better than ever – here are just a few faces, including Alexander McCall Smith, Gavin Francis, Joan Bakewell, Wilko Johnson, Ruby Wax, and Attila the Stockbroker. Thanks for letting me use these, Chris.

4.1 Alexander McCall Smith & Gavin Francis

4.2 Joan Bakewell & Wilko Johnson

4.3 Ruby Wax & Attila the Stockbroker

And back to my own pics…

1.4 Book Shop

1.5 posing

2.10 Michael Scott

Michael Scott

2.5 Thomas Clark

Thomas Clark

2.9 Zaffar Kunial

Zaffar Kunial

1.10 relaxation

Relaxation…

1.6 photo bunch

Photo call

2.11 Jackie Kay

Scots ‘Makar’ Jackie Kay

2.13 Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley

1.8 staff

2.3 Louis de Bernieres

Louis de Bernières

2.7 Gordon Brown

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

2.8 Richard & Daniel Susskind

Richard Susskind & Daniel Susskind. In the background is journalist Lee Randall, who chaired their event.

2.12 Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

2.6 Roger Mason

Roger Mason

1.9

1.7 Cloud

Late in the day we heard that actor Gene Wilder had left our world of pure imagination, maybe to watch from this cloud.