If you can make it to the Artwork Cafe in Edgbaston, Birmingham, from 6pm to 8pm on 30th September, then you will be able to catch the launch of Carmen Capuano‘s novel Split Decision. Check out the poster below!
Pink Wish Ice Cream deals with a sweet, rounded, good-natured Polly Pink Witch teaching some brats to be nice. It is a classic kiddies book with classic morals, the type your mum, grand-mother and aunt would have instilled in you. It’s really simple: Say “please” and “thank you”, and your wish will be granted; be rude and obnoxious and you forfeit your wish. This even applies if you’re a mommy trying to bend the rules a little for the sake of your kid… I’m curious which lessons the other witches will be instilling in potential sequels.
Yes, P’kaboo Publishers have announced the date on which Marie Marshall’s long-awaited teen-vampire novel From My Cold, Undead Hand will be available from them in e-book form. Other forms will become available later, but for those readers with the facility to read the ePub format, buying direct is the way to go. You can pre-order, and as a bonus the first twenty-five purchasers will receive extras, including audio material!
The story itself is fast paced and gripping. The protagonist is Chevonne Kusnetsov, a teenager from New York City a generation or so into the future. The ecology is in crisis, electricity is scarcer and mainly generated by wind turbines mounted on top of buildings. Meanwhile, vampires stalk the dimly-lit streets after dark. But their very existence is denied by the government and the media. Expose!, a shadowy organisation formed to blow the vampires’ cover wherever it can, is routinely denounced for conspiracy-theory, anti-semitism, and downright insanity. The Resistance, a secret guerrilla army of vampire-hunters, organised in a cell-structure, is denounced as a ‘terrorist’ organisation. Chevonne has been recruited to the Resistance by her history teacher, and she’s tough – straight from the school kick-boxing club, she can use her fists and feet, but also a sword, a stake, and a laser-gun. What is the vampires’ ultimate plan? How does it involve the government? How does it affect Chevonne and her friends Di and E.J.?
The title, From My Cold, Undead Hand, is adapted from a famous slogan popularised by the National Rifle Association in the USA in defence of the right of American citizens to own and carry firearms. One of the features of the novel is that vampires, who in traditional fiction arm themselves with nothing but their teeth, exercise this constitutional right. Well, so do the vampire-hunters! By the end of the book there is a twist to this ‘right’. I asked Marie if her novel was deliberately politicised or partisan on this issue.
No, indeed not, but it did occur to me to introduce gun-carrying vampires and to have elements of the plot which developed the consequences of guns in this kind of conflict or adventure. Of course I have my own views about the issue, but there are two points I’d like to make. Firstly, I’m not American, and it’s America’s call. And secondly, no author worthy of the name lets her own views affect the way a plot is developing. The story goes how the story goes and that’s that. Anyhow it’s not ‘about’ guns. If it has a theme it’s about how young people tend to be marginalised.
That theme turns the dramatic crisis of the novel into a cliffhanger, leaving readers wanting more. Thankfully a sequel is half-written already, and there is even the possibility of a threequel. So who should read it?
It’s pitched at ‘young adult’ level, but it’s not ‘written down’. I think it will be snapped up not only by teenage readers but by adults who are into vampire fiction – and there are many, many of them ‘out there’. I just hope people out there will enjoy the ride as much as my ‘beta readers’ did.
From the point of view of this agency, it is encouraging that P’kaboo have shown faith in Marie once more, and are publishing her third novel on the 15th of September. Keep a watch for updates here, and by following @ColdUndeadHand on Twitter. Don’t forget that you can pre-order your copy!
If you can make it to Wicklow, Ireland, on 12th April, be sure to do so, and drop in to Bridge Street Books where Pub Talk, the new book by poet David Tich Ennis, will be launched. It all kicks off at 3pm sharp, and the advanced publicity says ‘All welcome – Hear a song, a poem, a reading – Bring friends!’ Or, as David himself puts it:
When yesterday is two weeks
Come one, come all, come everyone, you’re welcome, do drop in
Wine and words are waiting there, drink up, it is no sin.
Some of you are far away, you cannot make the scene, be there in spirit, anyway, welcome to a dream.
What kind of poet is David Ennis. Well, the jingle above shows a touch of his sense of humour. He has a simple approach, writes for the person in the street, in the pub, on the bus, on the hill; he has a sense of mockery that is a bit hard on himself but gentle on others. If you’re lucky, he might bring the bloke with the gong…