Sniff that Paper!

I love my Kindle. It’s so versatile, easy to use and light to carry around, packed full of books I can dip into anytime I want to. But, really, there is nothing quite like a paperback, is there?

I got the first paperback version of ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’ through last week, and it was such a beautiful thing. Immediately it had substance and weight. The cover was all velvety and smooth, and the shushing noise made when flicking the pages was music to the ears. And the sweet industrial smell of paper and ink… mmmm.

Kindles are good, but the paperback is Queen of books! Long may the paperback reign!

OUT NOW IN IRREPLACEABLE PAPERBACK:

OUT NOW PAPERBACK

Odd Books #1: Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

everything illegal bookI’m breaking the chain of ‘Odd Writers’ to bring you the first ‘Odd Book’. In this series, I’ll be looking at bizarre book covers and attempting to find out if the inside is just as bizarre, or if there’s a healthy explanation for the madness on the outside!

The cover of ‘Everything I Want to Do is Illegal’ (picture found on Bored Panda) features a cartoon farmer who appears to be ranting at an array of surprised farm animals on a sunny day. It immediately made me worry about what he had planned for them, and I set out to track the book down on Goodreads and find out the real story. Continue reading

Odd Writers #6: Writing a Book with One Eyelid

With what has to be one of the most inspired titles ever, ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ is truly a book with a difference.

The author did not use his hands or feet to write it.

He didn’t use his mouth and tongue to dictate the words.

He used the only thing he could move in his entire body – his left eyelid! (Okay, I know I gave that away in the title, but it’s been a long day 😀 )

Jean-Dominique Bauby was editor-in-chief for French fashion mag ‘Elle’. He had everything a man could want. And he lost it all after suffering a severe stroke, including the use of his whole body. After waking from a 20-day coma, Jean-Dominique found that he couldn’t move but he could hear and understand everything going on around him. As you can imagine, it took a long time to communicate that he was still very much awake and functioning. And then it took a very long time for someone to realise he had an awful lot to say.

So, how on earth did he do it? Continue reading

Confession Time

peterpan

27 Cartoon Characters who gave us the Hots as Kids

This article in Huffington Post made me laugh. I remember only too well destroying my bumper Disney book so I could have a badly cut-out picture of Peter Pan stuck on my wall. My first pin-up!

But there’s a serious side too – apparently the type of cartoon character you fell in love with as a child can set up a precedent for the type of person you’re attracted to later in life. So if it was Gaston, you’re in trouble!

FROM THE HUFFPOST ARTICLE

“Do you remember, as a kid, watching your favorite cartoon and realizing that you were focusing a little too much on one of the characters? Lots of the characters were great, but there was one in particular who was so smart, so cool, so good at vanquishing bad guys. 

Continue reading

Odd Writers #5: Schiller’s Rotten Writing

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German poet (later called ‘the pop-star of his time’), Schiller believed in the magical power of apples. AND, after he died, his mate kept his skull on his desk. Beat that!

Goethe popped round to Schiller’s one day while he was out and decided to wait in his office for him to return. A strange smell pervaded the room, and Goethe prowled, his nose in the air, looking for the source. It was stronger as he approached Schiller’s desk. He neared, sniffing, but could see nothing to cause the smell. He frowned and sniffed again, tentatively pulling open the desk drawer. Continue reading

Engrossing YA -Jo Danilo’s ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’

It means so much to get a review like this after years of nagging from the little pixie of self-doubt 🙂

Sophie de Courcy and More

I have always admired this author’s writing, and I am really pleased that this novel is now available on Amazon. I only occasionally read YA, but I really enjoyed this one.

Excellent! I was really impressed.

This novel combines lively action, humour, vivid descriptions and characterisation in an expertly woven creepy supernatural adventure alternated with prosaic high school life in a small Yorkshire town.

There is a curse on a house by Tinker’s Wood, and it must begin and end with a death.
When new neighbours move next door to the protagonist Daisy May and her mother, something re-activates it from its decades long sleep.

This is a spine chilling story, and a funny and a sad one. It’s full of action and vivid descriptions, tersely recounted. I was hooked from the moment I read of foul Mr Braithwate, and his habitual saluation to all – with two fingers.

The…

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Me, Marie Antoinette and ‘The Moment’

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I remember we were at a friend’s house. I must have been about four. They had white blinds hanging in long strips at the windows, and I spent a long time pulling (‘Gently please, Jojo!”) at the plastic, beaded cord, twisting the strips open and closed. Letting the sunlight into the room in bright stripes across the beige carpet.

Then the TV came on. A children’s programme for us little ones to watch. We planted ourselves, cross-legged, on the carpet. The grown-ups were chatting, their existence stripped to knees and feet, hands holding steaming mugs of tea and reaching for biscuits. Faceless. Just background noise.

But on the screen… on the screen was a woman clothed in a dress of cream and gold that came out from her narrow hips and took over the whole corridor of a sumptuous palace. She was like a doll, with white hair piled up high and unmoving on the top of her head, red lips and a black spot painted on her lip. This, the narrator told us, was ‘Marry Ann-twan-ett’ Continue reading

The Pit

I came across this beautiful drawing by Cambodian artist Visothkakvei today – such a clever paper, ink & digital artist – and it reminded me so much of Daisy’s pit in ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’

visothkakvei-optical-illusion-drawings-1

“What’ve you done?”

The whisper came again, and the sobbing started. I ascended a steep slope and found myself standing on the narrow lip of the mineshaft. The wide, circular bowl opened up before me, the steep, grassy sides spiralling down into the blackest of black holes. Bottomless, Will had called it. He had been wary of it, even in the sunshine. Now, below a stormy sky that was beginning to tip rain out, the sides were in shadow and it looked like a yawning mouth. And it was the mouth that was crying. I froze, swaying on the precipice, mesmerised. And then I remembered where I’d heard the whisper before, and the hair on my arms stood on end.

Taken from ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’ now available for Kindle:

amazon Amazon.co.uk

amazon Amazon.com

See this article on My Modern Met for more amazing work by Visothkakvei.

In Cool Company!

Really excited to see my book languishing besides the likes of these cool crooners in a search for my name on Amazon. I’m not sure what ‘Danilo’ is doing to ‘Vera’ but it looks like he’s trying to shove a daisy up her nose! Aah well, she doesn’t seem to mind.

A translation tells me the title is literally:

‘That you would not have anything to do’

I don’t think we need a translation for ‘A Musica Maravilhosa…’

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OUT NOW! ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’ (Kindle Edition)

OUT TODAY! ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’ (Kindle version). A young adult love story with the odd ghost and some very petulant curtains.

Find it on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Hope you enjoy it – if you do, come back and let me know

For more information on The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook, head over to the book page here.