Thursday, July 10, 2008


Allow me my soapbox to gush and philosophise for a few moments here.

I love and adore getting things in the post - yes, even bills. As a little child I used to post colourful postcards to myself at home whilst we were on holiday, purely for the thrill of getting something in the post when we return from holiday.

I am happy to say I don't have to do that anymore. I'm all grow'd up and people send me things, even though I might be ordering it from or from Foyles. Or, indeed, have lovely publishers sending me treasures in the post, which to be honest, I don't think will ever ever ever get old.

Two books arrived this week, amongst the stacks, which completely took me by surprise and I am absolutely thrilled by them. I am careful not to gush less the other books feel left out for not being singled out for special treatment, but their time will come. These two extra special books deal with two of my favourite things of all time.

Firstly, we have the absolute classic of The Princess Bride by William Goldman, first published in1973. Yep. This book is as old as moi.

Bloomsbury has republished it, with a fantastically vibrant new retro pulp-like cover. Have you seen anything cooler? It is available from August this year and in my opinion would make a fantastic Christmas pressie for kids as well as adults. And also, it looks so much cooler than the better known cover which can be found here. Plus, you can read the book and then love the movie even more.

As an aside: I didn't realise that William Goldman was the man behind both the book and the screenplay of the movie with the same name. He also wrote the screenplay for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Small world, eh?

Second item of great thrill this morning was this illustrated graphic novel by Luis Scalati simply called Dracula, published by Bloody Books. The illustrations are eerie and atmospheric whilst the prose is spare and conjures strong imagery, for instance:

She closes her eyes and gives herself up to the mighty turmoil to which she is subjected.

You don't just write stuff like this, you graft it. I'm not familiar with any of Luis's other works, which is a pity as he has done some other very interesting bits.
Paging through this unique book makes me realise the scope of the canvas artists and writers have at their disposal. The reworkings of age-old myths and legends, conjuring up new ones for the next makes you a bit dizzy really, this whole idea of that I'm sitting here chatting to and reviewing various writers' work who one day might very well be the next Shakespeare, or Marlowe (let's not get into arguments here about them being the same person) or choose any other legendary author whom you feel kinship to.

The concept is quite dizzying. I think we sometimes forget about the future. We work, we think up stories, we go about our daily bits and pieces, one step at a time but do you ever think that someone you might know well or even casually might one day be famous, or better yet, infamous?

Who knows if Suzanne MacLeod who's book is soon to be published by Gollancz is going to be the next JK Rowling? Or if Kate Cann's books will be made into a Gossip Girl type of series? Or if Sarah Singleton's work will be filmed by someone as awe inspiring as Guilermo del Toro? Or if Karen Mahoney's going to be picked up for a massive publishing deal for her series and rival someone like LKH?

The possibilities are endless and I'm really thrilled to be playing my tiny part in the deus ex machina.

But! enough philosophising from my part. The key message here is: yay! to the very pretty shiny new books which open whole new worlds and which has made one of the darkest weeks turn into something akin to frosting on a cake.
A big thanks to all the lovely publishers and authors who support MFB.

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