My mother's memories of the First World War as a tiny child:
One day I was taken into Newcastle to see the soldiers marching down
Grainger Street to the Central Station on their way to France. I was
held up on somebody’s shoulder so that I could see over the people in
Crowds lined the street, the soldiers marched past, then a deep
moan went through the crowd as the girls came into view.
They were the
nurses also on their way to France. I can remember hearing somebody saying, “The bits o’ lasses are ganning as well,” and the tears rolling down people’s cheeks.
Frances di Plino talks about victims' gender in crime novels and why she has chosen to break the mould. Her latest Paolo Storey novel sounds like a corker and is one I will certainly be reading very soon.
A Crime Novel with a
Difference by Frances di Plino
There has been a lot
published recently on the prevalence of violence against women in
crime novels. It does seem that the culture of women as victims helps
to sell books. I’m not sure why that should be, but I have been
guilty of writing a couple of such novels myself.
Someone is subjecting
men to systematic rape and torture, but who? More to the point - why?
After three days of cruelty, starvation and water deprivation, they
are released. Detective Inspector Paolo Storey has many questions,
but the biggest one of all is this: why, to a man, do they refuse
even to admit they were held captive?
As if the hunt for the elusive
abductor wasn't enough, Paolo has to spend time finding out if money
has been pilfered from public funds poured into a new youth centre.
He upsets a few local
bigwigs in the process, but ruffling feathers is the least of his
worries. His most important task is to work out why the attacks take
If he can do that, he'll be a step closer to knowing who is
behind them; but can he uncover the answers in time to save someone
close to him? It isn't easy Looking for a Reason.
The animated giff really says it all, but I'll write it a little more conversationally and give you some background:
The Awesome Indies is getting a brand new website. Tahlia Newland (coordinator), Ruthanne Reid (designer), and a team of volunteers have been working hard this past month to get ready for the opening on the 1st of November.
The new look site will be set up as a shop with purchase buttons linking to all the major ebook sales outlets as well as the Book Depository (free shipping worldwide) for those who like paperbacks. Our Amazon and iTunes links will be global links that will automatically send customers to their local store – no more ending up in the wrong store.
And those with reading devices that take epub files will find plenty of books for their devices on the new site.
Books to suit your taste will be easy to find by searching categories and tags. And books can be listed in more than one category, making it easy to see exactly what mix of genres you’ll find inside. This is particularly important for our books because most of them cross genres.
Books will have their own product page with a great deal more information about them than on the present site, so you won’t have to leave the site to find the information you need to make your decision.
Reduced books will appear on a sale page and in a featured spot on the front page, making the bargains easy to find, and a streamlined menu will make negotiating the site a lot easier.
This new focus on selling the books is because these are the books from the independent publishing industry that readers should be buying. These are the books that will not disappoint with poor editing and under developed story lines. And if you’re looking for something different, the Awesome Indies is the place to find it.
And, to mark the opening of the new site, we’re having a sale. Over 50 books priced at less than $3, many of which are rarely discounted, will be on sale for November 1st and 2nd.
We’re also giving away a Kindle Paperwhite ereader to the lucky winner. The giveaway closes at the end of the weekend.
Visit Awesome Indies Books next weekend to see the new site, show your support and pick up a bargain.
My novels Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion and The Land Beyond Goodbye will both be on sale as part of the Awesome Indies promotion.
Easy tweet: Find
out more about flamboyant poet #Rimbaud - the first punk.
@BSE_Writer The winners of the blog hop giveaway have now been chosen. Congratulations to Denise and Rhonda - I hope you enjoy Delirium.
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
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
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.
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
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.