Christien Gholson's Blog Entries
‘Everything you’ve read is wrong… Recent stand-out successes in fiction have come from independent presses, so the odds are this year’s will too, says Tramp Press’s Sarah Davis-Goff. She asked 19 other indies to share their tips. Psst, pass it on.’
Thanks to Sarah Davis-Goff for reminding readers to support their indies. Here’s our Publishing Director Richard Davies’ top tip for the list:
A winter's evening of readings from the new Cardiff literary journal, The Lonely Crowd. Featuring Tom Vowler, Rhian Elizabeth, Jane Roberts, Christina Thatcher, Kate Hamer, Zoe Ranson and Susmita Bhattacharya. Hosted by Lonely Crowd editor John Lavin.
Parthian author Nick Fisk and his book The Blues Are Back in Town, have been the subject of a number of favourable reviews recently. Dave Jennings reviewed the chronicle of the Cardiff football team's 2014/15 season for Louder Than War here, and Peter Ugarte has also done a review on his blog. Jennings, a Wrexham FC fan himself, says that Fisk 'writes as only a true fan can' with 'a serious attachment to the subject'.
Fisk has also been invited back to MadeinCardiff TV (a link to his previous interview with them can be found here), to appear on a chat show during the coming month – more details of this to follow.
Which writers, books or ideas have inspired you?
I’ve drifted through different phases where I’m into various movements and/or writers, so it’s pretty hard to narrow down a definite inspiration. In high school I used to read pulp genre sci-fi from the golden age, because that was the stuff we had in the library. In my early 20s I was into the Russians. Then I liked the experimentalists, even though I didn’t always get what they were doing. Late 20s I was into noir and hard boiled American authors. So, I’ve been pretty promiscuous, hopping from one bed to the next and never quite settling. This is by no means an exhaustive list, the point I’m trying to make is that inspiration would have to be the sum total of everything I’ve read so far.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
'...a remarkable and fascinating account...' --Phil Carradice, BBC
From the author of the celebrated Great War memoir Old Soldiers Never Die, Old Soldier Sahib in Frank Richards' account of his experiences as a Royal Welch Fusilier in India and Burma at the dawn of the 20th century.
Richards recounts with brutal honesty the everyday life of a common soldier in the Indian Empire, where prostitues beckon, alcohol flows freely, and deadly diseases threaten to strike down the hardiest of men.
Frank Richards was born in 1833 in Monmouthshire. Orphaned at nine years old, he was brought up by his aunt and uncle in the industrial Blaina area, and went on to work as a coal miner throughout the 1890s before joining the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1901. A veteran soldier who served in the British India and many areas of the Western Front, he wrote his seminal account of the Great War from the standpoint of the common soldier, Old Soldiers Never Die, in 1933. This was followed by Old Soldier Sahib, a memoir of his time serving in British India, in 1936. He died in 1961.
'...the greatest account of trench warfare...' Phil Carradice, BBC
We’re delighted to note that a sensitive review of Alix Nathan’s The Flight of Sarah Battle, ‘a well-imagined novel that commands the reader’s attention and admiration’, has appeared in Wall Street Journal.
Born in her father's coffee house in Change Alley, London, Sarah Battle is raised in an atmosphere of coffee, alcohol and intrigue. She longs to escape her surroundings for a better life but is trapped in a marriage to James Wintrige, a member of the Corresponding Society but also a government spy. She meets the radical thinker, printer and bookseller Thomas Cranch who offers her an escape to the New World. Sarah finds solace in her new love and the thriving, democratic world of Philadelphia. But fate may yet deliver her back to London. She has never secured a divorce from her husband and the Change Alley coffee house is still hers...
Parthian are delighted to announce that The Missing Woman and Other Stories (Parthian Books, 2015), the debut short story collection by Carole Burns, Head of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, writer and reviewer for The Washington Post and author of the globally acclaimed how-to writing manual, Off the Page: Writers Talk About Beginnings, Endings, and Everything in Between (Norton, 2008), has won Ploughshares’ John C. Zacharis First Book Award, announced in their new issue on the 15th of January 2016.
Lovely to see Martha, Jack and Shanco by Caryl Lewis included on Ann Morgan's top 10 must-read books list in the Guardian this week...