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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‘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.


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.


News in the New Year

Time for some news. This time of year is very often the doldrums for literary agency work and publishing in general, so it’s good to have snippets coming in.

Our client Marie Marshall always has several irons in the fire. Mainly she’s a poet and a poetry editor. Every four months she produces an e-zine called the zen space, which features haiku and other short forms of poetry. The Winter 2018 Showcase there has just been published, and is full of wordsmithery from all over the world.

The artwork for this particular Showcase has been provided by Canadian artist Millie Ho. You will remember that Millie did the cover artwork for Marie’s novels The Everywhen Angels and From My Cold Undead Hand. A click on the image below – a detail from one of Millie’s illustrations – will take you to the latest Showcase at the zen space.
Bunnyman

The previous update here gave news of the short movie Lose Like A Human, created by Luka Vukos and Fergus Doyle. Borrowfox – an innovative rental platform, stocked with state-of-the-art camera and film equipment from leading rental companies and private users, from which borrowers can use the best equipment for the lowest prices, while lenders can make money from unused kit – interviewed Luka and Fergus for their blog. The interview makes interesting reading, taking these two creators through the stages of making a movie on a shoestring. Click here to read it.

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Luka Vukos (right) on the set.

Our client Carmen Capuano is racking up five star reviews from readers for her novel Split Decision. Here’s one of the most recent:

Split Decision, essentially a coming-of-age novel, is both brilliant and brutal – brilliant in its execution and brutal in the sensitive subject matter it explores. The decision Natalie makes impacts on many and she is not the same person at the end of the story as she is at the beginning… It is the second book that I have read by the author Carmen Capuano, the first being Ascension, a dystopian thriller. Although the subject matter is completerly different, I found the story just as engaging and thought- provoking.

The plot begins in a shoe shop where best friends, teenagers Natalie and Stacey are shopping. The new pair of shoes which Natalie purchases – in a style which is way out of character for the sensible teenager, can be viewed as a metaphor for both her step into adulthood and what subsequently occurs. Natalie is soon called upon to make a split second choice and her decision heralds a chain of unexpected and shocking events.

The author does an excellent job of depicting the trials and tribulations of the teenage years and how they effect existing and new relationships: a time of burgeoning sexuality, when we strive to forge our own identity, sometimes putting us in conflict with our families who find it difficult to come to terms with their offspring entering adulthood. The balance between protecting their children whilst allowing them the freedom to grow is often a difficult one and I felt that the author touched on this in a sensitive fashion. I certainly identified with Stacey and Natalie from memories of my own teenage years and recognised how easily events could take the path they did.

The characters, the young people and the adults, were all very believable and the author is to be congratulated on using the events to illustrate their personal growth and changing family dynamics. The plot is cleverly and expertly written and certainly had me guessing and questioning my own preconceptions and prejudices. All in all a super read…

 Split

A belated Happy New Year to everyone – writers, readers, publishers, film-makers, colleagues, and friends – from Bookseeker Literary Agency.


Losing at chess, winning at film.

2017-11-30 03 Lose Like A Human

Paul has recently spent some time on the set of Lose Like a Human, a short film made by Neon Eye Productions in Edinburgh, some of the cast and crew of which are pictured above. It is the debut film from director Luka Vukosavljevic (right). The film stars Sarah Meikle and Jamie Begg as the Chess Players, and Cara Lynch (centre) as the Singer. Paul was given a non-speaking part as the ‘Match Man’. The film has a number of surreal touches, but its serious core is the contemplation of Artificial Intelligence.

Luka and Paul have been discussing Luka’s other possible projects, which include scripting and directing a film set in Yugoslavia in WW2, and taking over the script-writing for the screen adaptation of Marie Marshall’s short story Axe. We’re looking forward to the release of Lose Like a Human – wrap came on 30th November, and we’re told that the footage looks good.


P’kaboo Publishers – an update

pkabooMany of you will know that this agency has had a long-standing relationship with P’kaboo Publishers in South Africa. You may also have noticed that we removed all links from this web site to P’kaboo and to its sister publishing house Honeymead, shortly after the death of Iain Rossouw, along with some details of our relationship. The two main reasons behind these actions were firstly that the links to their web sites did not appear to be currently active and led nowhere except to an error notification, and secondly we were not sure what decisions were going to be made about the future of both houses.

Rather than intrude into what is still a very traumatic period for the Rossouw family, we decided to wait for a word from them. Recently Iain’s widow Lyz, who was the senior partner in P’kaboo, posted some news on her personal blog, to the following effect:

The web site is down, in fact, since January of this year, due to a server inconsistency and a subsequent dispute that remains unresolved. Other pressures mean that the dispute is not currently being taken any further, and indeed when I contacted Lyz privately we discussed the possibility of her looking for a different platform to host the house’s web site.

P’kaboo is currently ‘on hold’ as a publishing house. All P’kaboo’s current titles are still available through third parties however, notably Amazon, and the intention is to relaunch the publishing house as soon as the way becomes clear.

We wish Lyz and her family all the best, and look forward to seeing a revitalised P’kaboo in due course.