Divination in Nottingham Event

This coming week, on Tuesday 14th July, I’m doing an event at the Nottingham Writers’ Studio, reading from and talking about my I Ching-based novel-of-sorts, [amazon text=Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: A Book of Changes&asin=http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sixty-Four-Chance-Pieces-Book-Changes/dp/9888273027], then leading a workshop on writing and divination, putting the I Ching to work as a tool for writing. It should be fun and relaxed, and all are welcome. The time is 7pm, and the suggested donation is £1 for members and £3 for non-members. I’ll also have advance copies of the book on sale (not yet out in the UK), at a reduced price. Do come along if you are in town. Find out more at the event’s Facebook page. Or, if you are not a Facebooker, email me for more information.

Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: the China Book Tour

I’m currently busy with packing my bags for China, and heading back to Beijing after an unforgivably long period (almost five years!), to take part in the Bookworm Literary Festival / 老书虫文学节 (see http://bookwormfestival.com). I’ve got a pretty busy schedule: something like fourteen events in as many days, in Beijing, Chengdu, Suzhou and Ningbo. It’s taken some organisational ingenuity to get there, but now everything is fixed, and I’m looking forward to being back in China again.

In particular, I’m immensely excited to be launching my novel-of-sorts, Sixty-Four Chance Pieces, published by Earnshaw Books, in Beijing on the 18th March at iQiyi cafe. This has been a project that is a long time in the making, and I’m not only delighted it has found a home with the excellent Earnshaw books, but also tremendously excited that it’s first launch will be over in Beijing.

There’s a full list of events on my events page, or on the Bookworm’s website (other than the Ningbo events, which are being hosted by the University of Nottingham in Ningbo), so if you are in town, then please do come along and say hello.

I’ll update this blog as I go along, to let you know how I get on with the tour. But between now and then, there’s a lot of last-minute organising to be done (not to mention our closer-to-home States of Independence festival for small and independent press publishing).

Complete Write a Novel Launch Event — photos

Last night I launched my book, [amazon text=Teach Yourself: Complete Write a Novel&asin=1473600480] at De Montfort University, so here are a few images of the launch event. Niki Valentine (Nicola Monaghan) was asking the questions, and it was great to talk about novel-writing in front of an audience of friends, strangers, and some absolutely fabulous writers.

Images © Ambrose Musiyiwa — with thanks!

Writing China, at the Nottingham Festival of Words

I’m delighted to be participating in the international launch event at the 2014 Nottingham Festival of Words, along with two fellow-novelists, the Nottingham-based Rhiannon Tsang (The Woman who Lost China, Open Books 2013), and the Beijing-based Karen Ma (Excess Baggage, China Books 2013). Between the three of us, we’ll be talking about ‘Writing China’.
Read more

Upcoming Events

I’ve got a few events coming up over the next couple of months, including a couple of festivals. So next Saturday, I’ll be at the Lowdham Book Festival to talk about novels and novel-writing (the programme is here, with a rather out-of-date mugshot). This is Saturday 28th from 11am – 12pm, in Lowdham village hall. The Saturday is a full day of free events, so do come along and drop in.

Then in July, I’m doing a children’s event on writing and Snorghs at the Frome festival, as well as an adults’ event on moomins and philosophy, bringing a bit of Moominsummer Madness to Frome. These are both on the 4th of July. Here’s an article from the Somerset Guardian about these events.

There are a few more things coming up over the summer as well, so I’ll post here again when I have these confirmed.

Louis de Bernières, Iain Sinclair & Sara Maitland at DMU

I’m very excited to be involved in organising this series of events, with award-winning writers Louis de Bernières, Iain Sinclair and Sara Maitland, all of whom will be talking about aspects of the relationship between writing and place. The events are being hosted by the Leicester Centre for Creative Writing at De Montfort University. The talks are all free of charge and open to all.

3 June: 6pm – 7.30pm — Louis de Bernières

5 June: 6pm – 7.30pm — Iain Sinclair

12 June: 6pm – 7.30pm — Sara Maitland

All talks are in room 3.03, Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Bonners Lane, Leicester.  If you want to go to the Facebook event page, here is the link.

You can download a poster here (it’s quite pretty):


A Blog Post about Hospitality, Books and Big Sticks

In the town of Omurtag, Hasan the geographer welcomed me with a story about the perils of refusing hospitality. Hasan is a vigorous man in his late forties, and he is locally famous for his fierce home-made rakia (although, being a Muslim, he doesn’t drink any of it himself). He has about him an air of restless intellectual curiosity. He is an Esperanto speaker, an expert on the history of local place names, a respected scholar, a translator, and a compiler of collections of folk tales. Read more


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