Wilkie Martin - Surviving Publication

Author of the unhuman series of addictive comedy cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. This documents my encounters with publishing and includes things I hope will be useful later. It also covers some local writing competitions and reviews some writing events.

Monday, 7 October 2013

What's in the Blood?

When someone said that Inspector Hobbes and the Blood, the title of my first book in the unhuman series of fast-paced, comedy crime fantasies, sounds rather gruesome I thought it was time for some explanation of how blood sits within a comedy book. It depends on how blood is interpreted, for it can mean many things.

  • Blood is vital for life. Andy, my hapless narrator, was living a sort of half-life before meeting Inspector Hobbes;  Hobbes became a vital force, almost like a blood transfusion, to bring Andy back to full life.
  • Blood can be used in the sense of 'it's in the blood', meaning a certain feature, or set of behaviours, regarded as part of someone's nature or inherited characteristics. Since one of the themes of the book is nature vs nurture, how much of an individual's behaviour is genetic, and how much comes from upbringing, this sense seemed appropriate. Inspector Hobbes, although having a fundamentally savage nature, remains civilized, at least for most of the time. Andy, on the other hand, starts to learn that he has spirit and strength of character, traits that have largely been suppressed by the way he was brought up. Hobbes was adopted; Andy was raised by his natural parents.
  • There is also a theme of blood sacrifice. On one level, this manifests as a selfish urge to kill for a character's own insane needs. On another level, Hobbes, going about his duty, puts his own life on the line to try and rescue a member of the public. Then, Andy risks all, abandoning his habitual selfishness and cowardice, to help.
  • There is hot blood, a passionate, fiery nature, as exemplified by Hobbes, in comparison to cold blooded other characters, especially in their plans to murder.
  • There is the verb 'to blood', meaning to initiate. Hobbes initiates Andy into his world, where not everything is how it appears on the surface. Andy is also 'fresh blood' in Hobbes's circle of friends.
  • And, yes, the title does also encompass some darker meanings, such as bloodbath, blood-letting, and a little blood-curdling!

Inspector Hobbes and the Blood is the first in my unhuman series of novels. It is published by The Witcherley Book Company and available in paperback and kindle from Amazon, and other online bookshops.
Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=inspector%20hobbes%20and%20the%20blood&sprefix=inspector+hobb%2Caps%2C316&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ainspector%20hobbes%20and%20the%20blood
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_30?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=inspector%20hobbes%20and%20the%20blood&sprefix=inspector+hobbes+and+the+blood%2Caps%2C210&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ainspector%20hobbes%20and%20the%20blood

Posts on Hobbes
#blog Alan Titchmarsh was my inspiration for writing Inspector Hobbes and the Blood

Event - 7-8 October 2013 on Amazon

The final two days of my KDP Select FREE promotion on the Kindle version of Inspector Hobbes and the Blood.

Event - 31 October 2013 at Writers in the Brewery

I will be reading from, and talking about, Inspector Hobbes and the Blood at the Writers in the Brewery at New Brewery Arts, Brewery Court, Cirencester, Glos., GL7 1JH,  UK on 31 October 2013 at 7:30pm. Doors open 7:00pm. Entry: £4.00. There will also be an open mic event for local writers to read poems, life writing and short stories (register at the door). For more about Writers in the Brewery see the New Brewery Arts website http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk/making-a-visit/regular-groups/writers-in-the-brewery
31 October also marks pubnlication day of Inspector Hobbes and the Curse - unhuman II.

Recordings of Inspector Hobbes and the Blood

I talked about and read a couple of short extracts from Inspector Hobbes and the Blood on Corinium Radio in July 2013 (starts 12 minutes in)

Coming soon - Inspector Hobbes and the Curse - 31 October 2013

Inspector Hobbes and the Curse is the second in the series and will be published by The Witcherley Books Company on 31 October 2013. Like 'Blood' in the first title 'Curse' also has a number of interpretations.
Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=inspector+hobbes+and+the+curse&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ainspector+hobbes+and+the+curse
Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=inspector+hobbes+and+the+curse&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ainspector+hobbes+and+the+curse

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Jenny Farley and David Clarke at Writers in the Brewery 26th September 2013

Acclaimed poets, David Clarke and Jennie Farley, were the star guests at Writers in the Brewery, which returned after its summer holidays on Thursday 26th September, 2013.

Open Mic

There was a good crowd in, many attracted by our star guests, plus a few local performers as well. The evening kicked off with an 'open mic' session, when local writers presented samples of their work. This time it was mostly poetry, There was some good stuff, and I was particularly impressed with an excellent modern sonnet, 'Rite of Passage' from Derek Healey about early retirement, and a rather powerful piece, 'Don't Shout at Me' read by Suzie White, written by Bob, one of her students, about ageing. I broke the mould by reading a short story, 'Living the Dream', a speculative piece about implanting memories that was cruelly overlooked by the judge of the Gloucestershire Writers Network (GWN) competition for this year's Cheltenhma Festival of Literature. Not that I'm bitter and twisted. Of course not. Anyway, since the GWN event is not being held in the fantastic Spiegeltent this year, I didn't want to win after all. I'm still going along to watch though, as it is a most enjoyable evening, wherever it's held.

Following a break for a drink and a chat, David Clarke and Jenny Farley held the floor. About eight years ago, I took a useful and enjoyable week-long course with Jenny at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature and was pleased to she'd recovered from the encounter.

David Clarke and Jennie Farley

David and Jenny's programme was called Counterpoint, and comprised ʻmix ʼn matchʼ poetry exploring the theme of love and relationships. Essentially, Jenny's poems tended towards positive and hopeful, whereas David's were a little more cynical, providing an interesting counterpoint. They worked together rather well and were enjoyed by an appreciative audience.

David Clarkeʼs pamphlet GAUD ʻimmaculately crafted poetry, eloquent andoriginalʼ won the Flarestack Pamphlet Prize, 2012. (Listed on Amazon.co.uk but unfortunately currently unavailable http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gaud-David-Clarke/dp/190648032X)

Jennie Farleyʼs poetry has been widely published and won several national awards. Her collection MASKS AND FEATHERS was launched at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, 2012

Writers in the Brewery
For more about Writers in the Brewery see the New Brewery Arts website http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk/making-a-visit/regular-groups/writers-in-the-brewery

Coming up
The next Writers in the Brewery events are on the last Thursday of each month, doors open 7pm for a 7:30pm start and 9:00pm finish. Price £4, which goes to the venue, New Brewery Arts (as does the bar money), so supporting the raffle which helps with the expenses of the speakers/performers. Events are organized by, creative writing teaching, Dr Rona Laycock. 
- See more at: http://www.newbreweryarts.org.uk/making-a-visit/regular-groups/writers-in-the-brewery#sthash.t6wtHJjR.dpuf

  • 31 October 2013  
    Wilkie Martin

    I will be talking about and reading from my debut novel, Inspector Hobbes and the Blood which is set in the Cotswolds. 31 October also marks publication day, all being well, for my second book Inspector Hobbes and the Curse, the second in the unhuman series. I will introduce you to my small-town community with its quirky and occasionally dangerous inhabitants, and to Inspector Hobbes the 'unhuman' policeman who maintains law and order.
  • 28 November 2013 
    Poetry Factory

    The Poetry Factory is a poetry group featuring Gloucestershire based poets David Clarke, Sharon Larkin, Anna Saunders, Philip Rush, Avril Staple and Chaucer Cameron. Anna Saunders is the director of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. Sharon Larkin is Chairman of Cheltenham Poetry Society, running writing and reading groups, and a full programme of workshops and other events throughout the year. Avril Staple is a poet and musician. Chaucer Cameron is a poet working with multi media.

Previous Writers in the Brewery


Howard Timms at Writers in the Brewery, 27th June 2013
Moses Wiggins at Writers in the Brewery, 30 May 2013
John Gibbons with Armorel Weston at Writers in the Brewery - 25 April 2013
Writers in the Brewery 29th March 2013 - Rob Palmer
Lesley Saunders at Writers in the Brewery – 28 February 2013