Events Buzz Monday: The Roar Of The Wind, The Promise Of Spring

A-Lion-or-A-Lamb-1600x600

The last week of February is bringing us snow squalls and gale-force winds, making the proverb of March coming in like a lion an all-too-accurate one.  We have some great reads to help take your mind off Winter and to get you in the mood for Spring. Come in and get a complementary cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa to take the chill off; peruse our New Arrivals shelf for used book trade-ins and our publisher displays of new books for children, teens, and adults, as well as our  vintage titles from the 1890s to the 1970s. 

  • Our new books are discounted at either 20%, 25%, 30%, 40% and 50% off list prices for your shopping needs.  As always, our used books range from 50% to 90% off of cover price, and there are additional savings for our newsletter subscribers.  We also offer an educator discount for teachers, certified homeschoolers, and licensed daycare centers.
  • Our selection changes daily, with customer trade-ins of used titles as well as shipments from publishers and wholesalers.  You are bound to find something for any interest, and we take special orders and do book searches as well.

Don’t forget! We also offer “from our door to your door” mail order fulfillment, just one of the many ways in which we serve you, our customers, as Worcester’s full-service bookstore.

In the meantime, here’s our schedule for events for the remainder of February and for March…

RECURRING EVENT: TONIGHT! Monday, February 25, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. 

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, February 26, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, March 2, 11AM-2PM – Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss: Drop-In Crafts & Activities!  Join us for crafts, stories, activities and coloring pages from the world of Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, on the occasion of his 115th birthday. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please call us at 508-796-5613 if bringing a group of more than three, so we can be sure to have adequate supplies.

SPECIAL EVENT: Sunday, March 3, 1PM–3PM – Addiction & Recovery Talk with Donnie O. Steiger!  Local author and motivational speaker Donnie O. Steiger will talk about addiction and recovery as outlined in his latest book PASSION IN THE FIRE and his previous title SUCK UP THE PURPLE BUTTERMILK.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, March 4, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, March 5, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, March 9, 1PM–3PM – Book Signing with Tom Straw, also known as Richard Castle! So you think you know all about the mystery writer Richard Castle, best-selling novelist and creator of the NIKKI HEAT and DERRICK STORM series?  Meet Tom Straw, the man behind the mysteries, as he signs his newest book BUZZ KILLER, as well as his backlist of Castle works.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, March 11, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, March 12, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, March 16, 6:00 – 8:00 – Rainbow Readers Discusses Just For Show by Jae. The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month, usually on the third Saturday. All are welcome!

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, March 18, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, March 19, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, March 23, 1PM–3PM – Book Signing with Jason Fregeau! Join us in welcoming science fiction author Jason Fregeau, contributor to the long-running MAN-KZIN WARS series of short story anthologies.

RECURRING EVENT: Sunday, March 24, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Monthly Meetup! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, March 25, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, March 26, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

And in a look ahead towards the upcoming months of Spring, Summer, and Autumn here at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, we will be adding more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight: Tom Straw (Richard Castle)

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is thrilled to shine our Friday Spotlight on author Tom Straw, who writes a number of different books and screenplays which he will tell you about himself. He also writes under another name : Richard Castle!

Please note that he will be signing his books at the store from 1-3 PM on Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Tom Straw © Jill Krementz

Photo Credit: Jill Krementz

Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?

I am a former DJ and TV weathercaster who always longed to write. My first writing path took me to writing TV comedies. That’s a hard door to break down, but I was fortunate to get inside. Three decades on, I still enjoy a fulfilling career writing for television. Even got an Emmy nomination for Night Court. A few of the other shows I wrote and executive produced include Dave’s World, Grace Under Fire, Cosby, and Nurse Jackie.

But books always called to me. Especially mysteries. In 2007 my first novel, The Trigger Episode, came out. That led to an invitation from ABC-Hyperion to ghost write one (just one) promotional tie-in book for a new show called Castle. Heat Wave zoomed to #6 on the New York Times, and so I was contracted to write more Nikki Heats as Richard Castle, for a total of seven. All were NYT Bestsellers, including Heat Rises, which debuted at #1.

Fall of 2017 I reclaimed my own name and published Buzz Killer, in which I took the flavor of the romantic procedurals I loved writing as Richard Castle, but with a strong female New York public defender as the lead instead of a strong female NYPD detective.

Currently, I am editing the manuscript for my tenth novel—also under my own name. It’s set in 1927. I refer to it as my mystery from back in history.


Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, of course! However, for the two books under my own name, The Trigger Episode and Buzz Killer, your best bet is Amazon.

Buzz Killer from Tom

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

Awesomeness is delivered 24/7 on my website: tomstraw.com. I try to keep readers up to date with news and events, plus photo galleries that are companions to my books. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from your books?

I think most readers would be familiar with my work, but probably not my name. I wrote the first seven Nikki Heat New York Times bestsellers as Richard Castle in conjunction with the ABC-TV series starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. Those books, plus two others I wrote under my own name, feature the Castle flavor: A tense, dramatic, mystery/procedural with a romantic relationship that is also at times tense and dramatic—in addition to being sexy and fun.

Nikki Heat Books

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

I am currently editing a novel set in 1927. It’s a mystery but also a historical novel in the true sense. It is a subject I am passionate about and the story and characters laid out beautifully for me. That’s all I’ll say about it right now. I won’t even divulge my title. When things get real, I’ll certainly not be shy.

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

In my book career, I would say it was appearing on Castle in a scene with Nathan Fillion. Hanging out on the set certainly gave me deeper insight into the texture of the series so I could absorb it for the books, but I also very much enjoyed Nathan himself and how kind and hospitable he was during my cameo and on subsequent visits to Castle locations.

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

It’s the same now as it was when I started out: Finding time to write. I always seem to have three or four things going on at once, the book I’m writing, the pilot I’m developing to pitch, the TV show I’m producing, and a workshop or public appearance to prepare for. I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way, but the fact is, carving out—and protecting my writing time—has been a constant in my career.

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?

There have been many lessons, but one of the greatest is to trust my instincts. I’ll tell you exactly when I learned this. It was writing Heat Wave, my first Richard Castle novel. I was on a wicked deadline for that book because when the deal was made, Hyperion needed it fast to coincide with the fall premiere of Castle on ABC. That was daunting enough. Add to that, I also was working full time as a writer and segment director on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. So my workday at CBS began at 9 in the morning until after the audience taping finished at 6pm. Drive home, eat dinner, start writing as Richard Castle until 2am, repeat. On that pace, I couldn’t afford the luxury of being a dilettante. No time to light a candle, pause and reflect for hours before deciding the next move of the plot. For the first time ever, I just said, “Right or wrong, I’m going with my gut. I have no choice.” It freed me up creatively and changed my approach to the work ever since. Instead of stressing, I honor my own thoughts. If I make a poor choice, I can always fix it later

Tom, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, March 9th.

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New Arrivals – Lisa Gardner Exclusive!

This week the New arrivals page will be a bit different than usual. We will only be focusing on one new arrival, Never Tell by Lisa Gardner. To give you a little background, Lisa Gardner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty suspense novels, including The Neighbor, which won Thriller of the Year from the International Thriller Writers. An avid hiker, traveler and cribbage player, she lives with in the mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

Lisa Gardner Pic credit Philbrick Photography

Photo Credit: Philbrick Photography

Lisa wrote an original character sketch of Flora Dane (one of the fan favorite characters in NEVER TELL). This is right now, an EXCLUSIVE for Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester. No one else has this yet! To really understand Never Tell, it’s best to understand Flora Dane.

Flora Dane by Lisa Gardner

             My name is Flora Dane.  Once I was an ordinary teen.  I grew up on my mother’s organic farm in the wilds of Maine, racing through the woods with my older brother Darwin while trying to tame foxes.  My mother named me in honor of Florence Nightingale; she wanted my brother and me to dream big.

When I first disappeared, my brother Darwin left college to run the social media campaign pleading for my safe return.  He posted candid photos, childhood stories, anything to humanize me so my unknown kidnapper would be less likely to kill me.  My mother turned in her mismatched flannels to appear on national news programs begging for my life.  She wore a silver fox charm around her throat, and in seedy hotel rooms, I would watch the interviews and cry, because whether she or my brother knew it, the girl they once loved was already gone.

My name is Flora Dane.  Once I was a kidnap victim.

Jacob Ness held me for four hundred and seventy-two days.  He was a monster, a beast, who’d lock me a coffin-sized box for days on end, then show up with my favorite TV show to prove he cared.  He’d starve me, then suddenly return with piles of food, new clothes, a special trinket.  Jacob broke me.  Then, he rebuilt me into the playmate he’d always wanted.  He told me during all our hours and days together that he would be the most powerful relationship I ever had.  He wasn’t wrong.

My name is Flora Dane.  I am a vigilante.

I killed Jacob Ness.  I put a bullet through his brain as a SWAT team stormed the hotel room and men in black armor screamed at me to put the gun down.  I did.  Eventually.  But every night, I still dream of Jacob.  The terrible smell of his breath.  The feel of the blood I’ll never get off my hands.  The sound of his mocking laugh ringing in my ears.  So I took up self-defense.  Then firearms training.  Then all sorts of things you can do with chemical fire, or plastic straws, or metal bobby pins.  It’s been five years now.  Some people sleep at night.  Personally, I hunt the streets of Boston.  I look for the girl I once was—wild, trusting, naïve—and I save her.

While I grow leaner and harder and colder.  My brother left the country because the sight of me hurts too much.  My mother refuses to give up, even though I flinch at physical contact and no longer return her hugs.  She still believes one day her little girl will return to her.   She doesn’t know how much I long for the same; I simply know better.

My name is Flora Dane.  Once I was a plaything for a monster.  Now, I am a hunter of predators.  I am a victim.  I am a vigilante.  But mostly…

I am Flora Dane and I am a survivor.

The story of Never Tell:

Never Tell Cover in 3D

A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

Thanks to Lisa Gardner and Emily Canders for supplying us with the special character sketch of Flora Dane!

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Events Buzz Monday: Winter Fun!

We’re back from our Boston joint just in time for a snowfall that’s perfect for putting one in the mood to read.  We’ve got some wonderful events lined up for the rest of this month in our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside.

boskonetables1

RECURRING EVENT: TONIGHT! Monday, February 18, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

SPECIAL EVENT/IN-STORE: TOMORROW! Tuesday, February 19, 11AM-2PM – Spiders & Bugs: School Vacation Week Drop-In Crafts & Activities!  Join us for arthropod crafts, activities and coloring pages, featuring MISS SPIDER’S TEA PARTY by Daniel Kirk and the BUGS IN A BOX pop-up books by David A. Carter. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please call us at 508-796-5613 if bringing a group of more than three, so we can be sure to have adequate supplies.

RECURRING EVENT: TOMORROW! Tuesday, February 19, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

RECURRING EVENT – NEW DAY AND TIME: Sunday, February 24, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Discussion Group! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, February 25, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

And in a look ahead towards March and upcoming months here at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, we will be adding more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author Spotlight: Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson credit Judith Johnson

Photo Credit: Judith Johnson

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is excited to shine our Friday Spotlight on Craig Johnson, who is the New York Times Best Selling author of the Walt Longmire Series, the basis for the Netflix drama Longmire.

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester ;)–though they should totally check here first!)

Pretty much anywhere fine books are sold.

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness?

craigallenjohnson.com is my website and I’m on Facebook as Craig Johnson with a blue checkmark to indicate it’s really me and Twitter at Ucrosspop25 and Instagram at ucrosspop25

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from [newest release/spotlighted release]?

 I write a series of books about the sheriff of the least populated county in the least populated state in America–Wyoming. The books are contemporary westerns as well as mysteries with a lot of character, place, and hopefully humor. There are fourteen novels in the series so far, along with two novellas and a collection of short stories. I’ve been fortunate enough to be translated into fourteen languages and there are six seasons of the television show streaming on Netflix at this time. People sometimes ask me if they should start the series at the beginning with the first novel, The Cold Dish, and I tell them that if they think they’re going to enjoy them—yes.

 

Longmire

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

Oh, I like Walt. He’s a little different from the majority of protagonists you see in crime fiction in that he’s what I call ‘over’–he’s over-age, over-weight, overly-depressed, but he still gets up in the morning and tries to do the job and to me that’s true heroism. Walt is something of a throwback–he’s got a code that he lives by and to keep him alive I gave him two superpowers; a sense of humor and he reads. He reads everything, and he remembers it. Only those of us who do read know what a marvelous addition it is to our lives and what an advantage it gives us… I like to think that people read the books for the same reason I enjoy writing them, because I just like Walt’s company.

Things we might not know about you?

My wife is from Connecticut and went to school in Boston and its not unusual for me to write while listening to my wife’s daily addiction to the Red Sox. I am a New York Times Best Seller, there is a successful TV show based on my books, and I’ve been translated into fourteen languages, but the real coup of my life was getting the red-headed New Englander to move to Ucross, Wyoming, population 25. By the way, she’s the one who coached me on how to pronounce Worcester…

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Events Buzz Monday: Love, Love, Love

It’s the week of Valentine’s Day at ABSW, the little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside, but we believe that love should be celebrated all year ’round. We want to thank YOU, our customers, for all the love you show in supporting us as Worcester’s full-service bookstore.

Please check out our Staff Picks page on our website for some of the titles we love.

We have plenty of gift ideas for you to love, and will be spotlighting those here all week long!

Purrfect love for your kitchen.

One important note: The weather bureau is predicting a snowstorm from Tuesday into Wednesday. Place keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates regarding our hours.

Snuggle up with our plush Peter from Ezra Jack Keats’ classic book THE SNOWY DAY!

And for events at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside…

RECURRING EVENT: TONIGHT! Monday, February 11, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: TOMORROW! Tuesday, February 12, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

SPECIAL EVENT/IN-STORE: Saturday, February 16, 6PM-8PM – Rainbow Readers Discussion Group!  The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month, usually on the third Saturday. This month’s title is Change of Address by Jordan S. Brock.  All are welcome!

SPECIAL EVENT/OFFSITE: Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17 – BOSKONE 56! Come visit us at our booth at New England’s premier speculative fiction convention, sponsored by NESFA, at the Westin Waterfront in Boston. We’ll have new and used books, magazines, greeting cards, gift ideas, and more! [The bookstore will be open during its regular hours as well.]

SPECIAL EVENT/IN-STORE: Monday, February 18, 11AM-2PM – Rainbow Fish: School Vacation Week Drop-In Crafts & Activities!  Join us for underwater creature crafts, activities and coloring pages, featuring THE RAINBOW FISH by Marcus Pfister. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please call us at 508-796-5613 if bringing a group of more than three, so we can be sure to have adequate supplies.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, February 18, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

SPECIAL EVENT/IN-STORE: Tuesday, February 19, 11AM-2PM – Spiders & Bugs: School Vacation Week Drop-In Crafts & Activities!  Join us for arthropod crafts, activities and coloring pages, featuring MISS SPIDER’S TEA PARTY by Daniel Kirk. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please call us at 508-796-5613 if bringing a group of more than three, so we can be sure to have adequate supplies.

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, February 19, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Bring your favorite game or try a new one. Stop by the store to socialize and play!

RECURRING EVENT – NEW DAY AND TIME: Sunday, February 24, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Discussion Group! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, February 25, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

And in a look ahead towards March and upcoming months here at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, we will be adding more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

Posted in Announcements, crafts, events, gifts, Hello from Annie's, Monday, seasonal, website | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author and Artist Spotlight: Paul Magrs

Paul Magrs Pic

 

This week, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is doing something a bit different with our author spotlight. Since the person we are happy to shine our spotlight on, Paul Magrs,  is both an author and and artist, we have asked him to answer questions about both areas of his expertise! The first section is about his life as an author.

Thanks so much for joining us, Paul. Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing?

I’ve been a published novelist for twenty-five years and I write magical realism, science fiction, Gothic Mysteries and memoir. I write for both kids and adults, and sometimes I write for Doctor Who. I live in Manchester in the north of England with my partner Jeremy and our cat, Bernard Socks.

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)

Some of my earlier titles are harder to get hold of. Online sources are maybe best for those. Good bookshops (like Annie’s!) should be able to source my work for you easily enough..!  Lethe Press in the US last year reissued my first three novels – ‘Marked For Life’, ‘Does it Show?’ and ‘Could it be Magic?’ They also published my ‘missing’ novel from 1999, ‘Fancy Man.’ All four are available in very handsome editions with new introductions and extra, related short stories from the time.

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Intagram… and my blog (www.lifeonmagrs.blogspot.co.uk) and I also have a Patreon page, where I post new work every week (www.patreon.com/paulmagrs)

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from your latest books?

Whichever genre I’m writing in, my subject is usually friendship. I’ve realized this over the years – whether my characters are Brenda and Effie solving supernatural mysteries in Whitby, or Lora and her gang having adventures on the prairies of Mars, or the Fourth Doctor, Mike and Mr Wibbsey defending Nest Cottage against intergalactic menaces, the thing that I’m really writing about is loyalty and love and how people get along together in even the most bizarre circumstances.

What was the inspiration for The Martian Trilogy? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

With my Martian Trilogy of novels, the ideas had been bubbling away and fermenting for years. I wanted to write science fiction that was fun and adventurous, full of colour and larger than life characters. I also wanted it to feel like some of the classic children’s books I loved. In the end I described it to myself as being a blend of elements from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House Books and Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles. It’s life on the Martian frontier.

 

 

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

I love all my characters – I have to, otherwise I wouldn’t write about them. But in this trilogy I think my favourite to write was the gallant robotic sun bed, Toaster. He’s brave and clever and slightly broken. He was once a fixture on a luxurious Starship from Earth, but following the crash-landing on Mars, he’s one of the few Servo-furnishings still operative, so in the decades since he’s had to turn his hand to every task the humans come up with for him. He harvests blue corn in the fields, cooks for everyone and carries heavy machinery; he also teaches and babysits the children. Also, as the story goes on, he proves himself to be the loyalest and most steadfast of companions – even when his mind is tampered with by the enemy. He also harbours some amazing secrets that are unfolded, gradually, as the trilogy goes on.

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Notebooks are the key to everything. Write down everything that passes through your head. Make time to write down all the fleeting stuff. Especially daydreams. And all the details of the way people talk and interact. You might not think it’s useful yet… but nothing is ever wasted.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

My next book is published in April 2019 by Snowbooks and it’s called: ‘The Novel Inside You: Writing, Reading and Creativity.’  It’s a book to do with my writing life, and an encouragement to those who want to write and create. It’s also illustrated by me!

Russell T Davies read it and wrote, recently:

“This is so much more than How To Write, it’s How To Live.  Part-memoir and part-tutorial, this book asks, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ and miraculously finds an answer.  From life.  From memory, family, lovers, heartbreak, childhood, loss and joy, all captured beautifully in these pages.”

 

PM Cover

 

Many of the same questions were asked of Paul, this time about his career as an artist:

Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your artwork? 

I’m a novelist who used to draw and paint, but got out of the habit. My drawings only appeared in corners of my journals. My partner Jeremy would buy me art materials every Christmas to encourage me to paint again. Eventually… when I was forty-five – I did! I set out in 2015 to draw something every single day. Gradually I taught myself to create pictures again, and I haven’t stopped.

Where can people find your work?

Online, they can follow my on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. My blog is http://www.lifeonmagrs.blogspot.co.uk

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you create? What do you think draws readers to these works?

I love to draw scenes from south Manchester, where I live. It was a bold move, when I started drawing again, to step outside and draw in public. I was used to writing in public, and don’t think it at all odd. When you write in public, no one bothers you. When you draw, it seems that everyone wants to talk to you, and ask what you’re up to. It’s quite delightful.

The world around us is constantly changing and there are little human dramas going on everywhere, as people go about their business. One of my heroes is a local one – LS Lowry, and I love to echo his scenes sometimes, in observing all the people doing their stuff in urban settings.

I also really, really love to draw people’s cats and dogs. At some point along the line I discovered that I could capture something of their personalities in the way that I painted them… and that’s a lovely thing to do.

Burrito

 

Elsa.jpgPM Fluffy

 

What is your favorite part of being an artist?  Of the whole art and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

My favourite thing is allowing myself the precious time away from writing to do something that doesn’t involve words. I love immersing myself in lovely colour and having something unique to show afterwards. I find the actual business and process of making a picture much more enjoyable than writing – it’s more physical and sensual.

What piece of advice would you want to share with other artists?

Take paper and materials with you everywhere. Make time to do it. It doesn’t have to be long. And they don’t have to be expensive materials. Just practice every day.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

My illustrations appear in my new book about writing, reading and creativity: ‘The Novel Inside You’, published by Snowbooks in April 2019.

What does your work space look like? What do you need to have around you while creating your art?

Lots and lots of books. My study is very messy and filled with heaps of books of all kinds, in any old order. This is essential for me to be able to work. Also, Bernard Socks the cat, who likes to help out.

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with us, Paul!

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