Following on from Alan Rusbridger’s recent praise of bookarmy.com, my other project, writers’ site authonomy.com, has also been enjoying a real flurry of publicity. Last week I was invited onto two radio shows to talk about authonomy’s concept and successes - you can listen to both below.
For the first interview, on BBC Radio 4’s flagship technology show Click On, I was joined by literary agent Lyndsey Fraser and author Miranda Dickinson, whose first novel, discovered on the site, has now sold more than 100,000 copies. Click below to listen (7 mins).
The second, for BBC Radio Ulster’s Arts Extra show, featured myself and authonomy member David Seaby, who recently confessed (only half-jokingly) that his addiction to the site had given him DVT. Radio Ulster allowed me considerably more time to talk through authonomy’s appeal. Again, click the play button to listen (11 mins).
A huge boost for the whole team to be getting such great coverage even 18 months after our launch.
Sanjeev is best known as a writer and performer of the TV shows Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42, but this year has been on our screens in India, travelling back through one of the world’s fastest developing nations to find his father’s roots in Punjab.
We chatted half an hour before his appearance at the Literary Festival and talked India, festivals and why books are better than film…
At the Oxford Literary Festival I was pretty surprised to run into Dragon’s Den winner (and forthcoming Collins author) Levi Roots at an event with Dragon Peter Jones - and even more surprised to find them deep in conversation with legendary four-minute-miler Sir Roger Bannister.
Things have clearly moved quickly for the musician, entrepreneur and now celebrity chef since the dragons bought into his Reggae Reggae Sauce… While Roger disappeared (at speed) I dragged Levi into the Green Room for a chat about his million selling sauce, his new book and the forthcoming Reggae Reggae Car - click the button to listen in. Rastafari Bless!
Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer prize winning author of Angela’s Ashes, ‘Tis and Teacher Man came in to see the Press Books team this week - and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pose some questions of my own in the Filing Cupboard.
After a life spent teaching in New York, Frank was sixty-six when he finally completed a memoir of his Irish childhood, Angela’s Ashes, which scooped the Pulitzer and went on to sell more than four million copies worldwide.
After two further biographies, Frank’s new book Angela and the Baby Jesus now presents another true story from the McCourt family: a christmas tale for adults and children in two editions, both beautifully illustrated by two very different artists.
We sat down straight from a mammoth book signing to talk about the books and about his new efforts in fiction; about why it took fifty years for his writing ambitions to be realised in such dramatic fashion; and about what it’s really like for a first time writer to be catapulted straight into America’s literary elite…
Packed with a cast of eccentric characters, not to mention the peculiar voices of more than thirty different narrators, Maynard and Jennica is a very modern New York love story. Rudy’s been a regular contributor to Fifth Estate: when he passed through London last week I dragged him into the filing cupboard for a conversation, and for what must be one of our most unusual readings…
Anton appeared at the festival to discuss Empire’s Children, a book and documentary series that follows six prominent Brits searching for their family roots across the Commonwealth.
Along with his earlier book in theWho Do You Think You Are series, Anton is swift becoming a household name amongst the rising tide of amateur genealogists. But in an intensely varied twenty year writing career he’s produced more than 15 books, ranging from contemporary history to crime fiction, and including The Journey Back from Hell: which recorded the personal stories of more than 100 survivors of the Nazi concentration camps.
We sat down in the Kandinsky Hotel to talk family trees, bare knuckle boxers and the Romanian secret police…
It’s not all auditoriums and signing queues: on Wednesday night at the Cheltenham Literary Festival we hit the cider with the city’s resident trouppe of performance poets, bringing live literature to local club Slak.
The live lit events come courtesy of Voices Off, Cheltenham’s ‘fringe’ programme that aims to pull the festival out of the theatres and onto the town’s streets, pubs and clubs.
Fifth Estate caught up with Sarah-Jane Arbury, Voices Off Director, to get the lowdon - and after Sarah-Jane we’ve poems from Scott Tyrell, Marvin Cheeseman and Helen Thomas (in that order). Helen’s impressively titled chap book is pictured above.
Click to listen - what better way to spend the next four minutes?