Extract in Dnevnik

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There’s an extract from the Bulgarian translation of my novel, The Descent of the Lyre, or (in Bulgarian) “Произходът на лирата”, on the website of today’s Dnevnik newspaper in Bulgaria. If you want to know how the book reads in Bulgarian, then go to the link here. I’ll be following the comments with interest, but feel inordinately pleased with the person who said …

The Descent of the Lyre - Events

A Blog Post about Hospitality, Books and Big Sticks

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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 …

Back in Sofia, Seven Years On

Will News 3 Comments

It’s been a quiet morning here in Sofia. The coffee pot is bubbling away on the little electric stove-top, outside there are sparrows cheeping busily, and I’ve got the entire guest-house to myself. The last time I stayed here was in 2007. Back then, the guest-house was busy: there was an alarmingly fierce six-and-a-half foot actor who strode around in …

Произходът на лирата

The sound of the world running its course

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A quick post this, as I’m fairly busy tying up loose ends and getting ready to head over to Bulgaria. But I thought that I should just pause to share a  beautiful image tweeted today by Enthusiast, my Bulgarian publisher, with the translation of the final sentence of The Descent of the Lyre. I love those birds on the power-line. …

Произходът на лирата

Launching ‘The Descent of the Lyre’ in Bulgaria

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It was almost seven years ago that I was last in Bulgaria for two months of research towards my novel, The Descent of the Lyre. Back then, I spent two months travelling around the mountains with my guitar, funded by a grant from Arts Council England, drinking brandy with pensioners, visiting small provincial museums and hillside churches, collecting stories. And …

The Bulgarians and Me

The Bulgarians and Me: a New Year’s Tale of Disappointment

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Well, what a disappointing day the first of January 2014 was. After spending all December reading the tabloid press (and the Telegraph as well), I’d whipped myself up into a state of some excitable frenzy at the thought of 50,000 Bulgarians trooping past my door from the first of January. So in the spirit of Anglo-Bulgarian friendship, back in December …

Research, One Couch at a Time

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After several years of research, writing and rewriting, my second novel, [amazon_link id=”9380905076″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Descent of the Lyre,[/amazon_link] is now finally published by the excellent Roman Books (in the UK at least—if you are in the USA, you will have to wait until December 11th), and it’s good to see that the novel seems to be already getting …