Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sale On - Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

On sale everywhere for a few days. 

99c / 77p (or less)

DELIRIUM: The Rimbaud Delusion








In honour of Rimbaud's birthday and 
the launch of the paperback version

Paperback available at AMAZON.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

October 1854 - births of Wilde and Rimbaud

October 1854 was a good month for literature – and for future scandal. 

On the 16th one Oscar Fingal O’Flaherty Wilde entered the world at 21 Westland Row, Dublin; four days later, on the 20th October, Jean-Nicolas-Arthur Rimbaud was born above a bookshop in the Rue Napoleon, Charleville, northern France.

Oscar & Bosie
Both were to have explosive love affaires which were distorted mirror images of each other. Maybe there was something in the stars that October.

Everyone knows about Oscar and Bosie – Lord Alfred Douglas. He was a poet in his own right, Bosie, though not a writer of the magnitude of either Oscar or Rimbaud; he did however coin the phrase ‘The love that dare not speak its name’, which comes from his poem Two Loves. History remembers Douglas as the man who helped ruin Oscar Wilde.

The story of Rimbaud and Verlaine is perhaps not so well-known. Rimbaud, the almost exact contemporary of Wilde was the one who did the ruining in their relationship. 

Paul Verlaine was a respected poet and a married man when the 17-year-old Rimbaud got his claws in him. 

Not that Verlaine did much to resist his degradation at the hands of his protégé; he entered into the spirit of things by setting fire to his wife and throwing his infant son against the wall.

Rimbaud matured earlier than Wilde. While Oscar was amusing his friends at Trinity College, Dublin, Rimbaud was well on in his career as a ne’er-do-well. He wrote most of his unique brand of poetry between the ages of 16 and 20. 

By the time Wilde went up to Oxford in 1874, Rimbaud was becoming disgusted with his way of life. He stopped writing poetry when he was about 21, before Wilde really got started.

Rimbaud’s relationship with Verlaine was probably more violent than Oscar and Bosie’s. Bosie was a spoilt pretty boy; Rimbaud was a devil in angel’s form according to those who knew him in Paris. He found it entertaining to stab his lover in the palms and jump out at him in alleyways on dark nights. 
Plaque at Royal College Street

The insults culminated in an episode involving a herring – Rimbaud spotting Verlaine coming up Royal College Street (formerly Great College Street), London carrying the aforesaid fish shouted out that he looked ridiculous (only in choicer words). Verlaine took the huff, as well he might, and left.

Rimbaud followed him to Brussels where further altercations took place and this time the boy wonder threatened to leave. Armed with a revolver purchased at the Galeries Hubert, Verlaine took a couple of pot shots at him to prevent his getaway. One bullet hit Rimbaud in the wrist.

Verlaine was sentenced to two years in prison after suffering various indignities to his person as the authorities investigated the relationship between the pair.

Mathilde Verlaine

Constance Wilde

Oscar also did two years – with hard labour – and his losses were probably more heartfelt than Verlaine’s. Verlaine’s wife had already given up on him and refused to allow him to see his son again, whereas Constance, I think, may have stayed with Oscar if the pressures of society had not been so great.

Two sad tales with similar outcomes – though Rimbaud and Verlaine’s version had more than a touch of farce to it. 

Well, Rimbaud did say Life is a farce we are all forced to endure.


Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion is available as an ebook from various online stores and the paperback will be launched on Rimbaud's birthday, 20th October 2014.

Now Available

Thursday, 25 September 2014

TRISKELE BOOKS are offering three free copies of the ebook of The Triskele Trail - a How We Did It Guide to Setting up a Writers' Collective.

As well as outlining the path Triskele Books took in setting up their writers' collective, The Triskele Trail is packed with advice on self-publishing from writing to marketing your book and everything in between.

Enter the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sorry - the giveaway is now over.  Worth investing in the book though!

Friday, 12 September 2014

Proof copy of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion

The proof copy of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion has just arrived from CreateSpace and it looks wonderful. The cover image created by JDSmith Design is beautiful and I chose a matt cover so it's eminently strokeable.

I love it!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


Available at 99c my short stories and poetry:


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Oldie but Goldie - a preloved blog post.

I haven't got a new blog post ready at the moment, so here's a pre-loved one for the time being. This post first appeared on Frances di Plino's blog on Sunday, 23 June 2013. Frances is the author of the DI Paolo Storey crime novels and she interviewed me about my venture into crime writing in particular and writing in general.

Ten facts about … me!

  1. When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer? I can remember making little books out of folded paper for my stories when I was fairly young. I can also remember being told off at school for writing compositions so long and involved that the teacher gave up reading half way through. Yes, Mrs Edgecombe, I’ve never forgiven you for that! So, I suppose it’s always been in me though it took a long time for me to get started properly.
  2. How long does it take you to write a book? Years and years usually. I think the shortest time has been two years and the longest seven or eight years. I really do need to speed up though, as I’m no longer in what could be called the first flush of youth (or even the second).
  3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? If it’s going well I’ll probably start writing sometime in the morning and continue until I run out of ideas. This can be after 1,000 to 2,000 words when I’m really in the flow. Other times I might only manage 500 words before I concede defeat. Then I’ll usually turn to editing something completely different, or look over previously written chapters of whatever it is I’m working on. If I’ve had enough of sitting at my desk I’ll go for a swim or a walk or, if I can’t put it off any longer, get the dishes washed and the floor vacuumed.
  4. How many crime novels have you written? I’ve only completed one crime novel – Don’t Look Down – but I’ve started two others. One of these reinvented itself half way through and decided to become a non-crime novel. I rewrote this as Delirium, which I’ve recently finished.* The other part-done one is hiding somewhere on my computer and I hope to track it down one day and finish it off. I also have an idea for a series featuring an elderly woman and her granddaughter as amateur sleuths.
  5. Which is your favourite and why? Since Don’t Look Down is the only one I’ve finished, I suppose I’ll have to nominate that. I am fond of it anyway because it’s set in Nuremberg, Germany, which is a wonderful mediaeval town that I’ve long considered as almost my second home.
  6. Where do you get your ideas? The idea for Don’t Look Down came to me after a visit to Nuremberg to see some friends. I’d been many times before but this was the first time I’d visited in winter and I fell in love with the town and the surrounding countryside all over again and had to use it as a setting.
  7. Who is your favourite character from your own work and why? My favourite character in Don’t Look Down is a minor character called Axel. He’s mysterious and hypnotic and is actually loosely based on someone I once knew in Nuremberg. I expect if I met the real version again now, I’d be most disappointed.
  8. Which character from the work of others do you wish you’d invented and why? Giles Brandreth writes crime novels starring Oscar Wilde as an amateur investigator. Initially, I thought this was a bizarre concept but I just wish I’d had the idea first as it’s right up my street. I expect poor Oscar is rolling about in his grave at having been used as a fictional detective though – as if the indignities of his life weren’t enough!
  9. If you could have been someone from history involved in crime (good or
    BSE (left) playing Belle Elmore
    bad) who would that be and why? I once played Dr Crippen’s wife, Belle Elmore, in an amdram theatre production and have been interested in the case ever since. After murdering her, Crippen and his lover, Ethel le Neve, fled to Canada by ship but were recognised by the captain. The recent invention of the radio telegraph meant he was able to inform Scotland Yard of their presence aboard. Inspector Dew of the Yard got a faster passage to Quebec and arrested the pair as they came ashore—the very first instance of a criminal being captured because of ship to shore communication. I’d like to have been Inspector Dew—that must have been a very satisfying moment.
  10. What are you working on now? I’m having a short break from new writing as I’ve recently finished Delirium which was a long haul project. I still have tweaks to make to that book, and am also lightly rewriting a previously published non-crime book The Man with the Horn, in order to bring it out as an ebook. I have an idea for a new book based on the discovery of a mysterious dead man on a beach in Australia that I might pursue, or I may start on that series with the grandmother and granddaughter I mentioned earlier. I’m eager to get started on something soon and hopefully this time it won’t take me several years to complete.



Barbara Scott Emmett lives in Newcastle and writes in a room overlooking the Tyne – a greener view now than in the old industrial days. She shares this writing space with her husband, crime novelist Jimmy Bain, and their cat Gizzie—who has first pick of the available chairs. When not writing she edits the work of others and assists in ebook creation.

Published work:

Don’t Look Down 
Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion - *ebook available now, paperback following in October 2014

The Land Beyond Goodbye

The Man with the Horn currently paperback only – ebook coming soon.


Wasps & Scorpions: Luv Pomes & Other Lies

All of which can be found at Amazon and Smashwords

and other online stores via PentalphaPublishing Edinburgh


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Last week's links

It's been a busy week - well, ten days now - since Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion was released as an ebook.

In honour of the release of the new ebook I was featured in a few places online and some of them may have been overlooked in the promotions and commotions.

So here are some of the links for those who haven't seen them yet:

Interview by Jane Davis

I talk about all things to do with writing.

Guest blogging for Jill Marsh

My Struggle  
How I Avoided the Allure of False Paths and Became a Writer

Article on self-publishing for Southville Writers

Why Self Publish?

Time & Place: Charleville-Mézières - my page at Triskele Books

Rimbaud's home town and the setting for Delirium

Images of Charleville-Mézières on Triskele Pinterest page.

Rimbaud's grave, statue etc

Well, this has been an easy blog post to write - thankfully because I'm all blogged out for the moment.

And if anyone has read the new ebook and is a member of Goodreads feel free to nip over there and vote for Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion.