Monday, June 25, 2007

Oddments - some very odd indeed

This marketing-of-books-via-video business is certainly catching on. Sid Tafler has a short video on YouTube. For some authors this will be an all too familiar situation: an interviewer who hasn't read the book, and who confuses the author with somebody else entirely. Sid's book, by the way, is a memoir called Us and Them.

It seems that, a week last Saturday, the UK's Channel 4 TV company broadcast a programme called Lie Lab. This featured the case of Kathy O'Beirne, written about here on 20 September 2006 in relation to her book Don't Ever Tell.

Don't Ever Tell is claimed to be an autobiography, and it tells a horrific tale of child abuse. The question at issue has always been whether it is true or not. Kathy claims it is; other members of her large family, with one exception, say it's a pack of lies.

I didn't see the Lie Lab programme, but, judging by their published comments (details in a moment), those who did were not impressed by Kathy O'Beirne's credibility. Her brothers and sisters took a lie-detector test and passed; Kathy refused to take it.

My post about Kathy, on 20 September 2006, now has more comments on it than any other post in the blog's three-year history. So somebody's interested. More importantly, perhaps, the Amazon UK entry for Kathy's book now has several bitter complaints from other authors of child-abuse books who have taken a lie-detector test, and passed. Worth a look.

I always said it was a bad idea to write a novel with too much autobiographical content. Or indeed any. The Times reports a case where an author got beaten up by his neighbours. And that's before they even start suing him for libel. Martin Rundkvist found the same story in the Scotsman.

John Clute kindly left me some info in a comment on an old post recently, and that prompted me to look him up. I was sure I knew the name. He is, of course, a prominent SF writer. I know him chiefly as the joint author of The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction, a substantial work which sits on the shelf above me. If it falls off it will do me serious injury -- one of those, and all the more useful for it. His wife is a distinguished artist.

MyPubSite is a new service which will, for a price, allow small or self publishers to sell books directly to the public. It's a US-based company.

Randall Northam runs a small UK publishing company called SportsBooks. It does what it says on the label: publishes books on sport. Mostly, of course, niche books that the big publishers don't want. For instance, a book by a woman about boxing, which must be something of a rarity.

Randall also runs a blog, which comments not only on sport but also on the book trade. He is not always a happy man, and who can blame him. Although I got ticked off the other day for suggesting that the book business might be hard work and difficult. It's not hard work and difficult at all. It's fun, fun, fun, all the time! Non-stop.

There was a big do for bloggers in Paris about a week ago. How come I didn't know about it till it was over? It was hosted, in a park, by the famous Petite Anglaise. Her blook -- a book based on her blog -- is being published by Penguin next January.

Judith Martin is an American syndicated columnist who writes as Miss Manners. She is also nuts about Venice, and has written a book to prove it. The FT carried an excerpt, and it certainly seems a very tasty item.

Wanna run a successful small bookshop? Serve the customers raspberry ripple while they browse. If you're an author, and you do a signing at the SilverDell Bookshop, you get a new ice-cream flavour named after you. Now there's fame for you.

Ee, there's trouble at t' mill. Or, to be more precise, the Chelsea Hotel. A new management team has been appointed, and long-time residents and enthusiasts are deeply worried. The story seems to begin on the Chelsea blog on 17 June, and will doubtless be updated by the time you read this. Thanks to Betty Bishop for the tipoff.

Do we plan our life challenges before birth? If you want to know the answer, Robert Schwartz has written a book for you.

Sophie Parkin, daughter of Molly, is a regular contributor to the 3am magazine. See, for instance, her interview with Genesis P-Orridge, who is currently in a state of transgender. Which reminds me that I have yet to write part 2 of my thoughts on transthingummy-whatsit, part 1 having appeared six months ago. Ah me.

Or, you could just try Sophie's account of a night out with a ready-to-strip friend at David Piper's Cafe Royal. Or, you could just have a look at Sophie's diary -- which is, sadly, not quite up to date but then who is? The pictures alone are worth the trip.

Oh, and if you're in London you can get to see/hear Sophie as part of the London Lit Plus business: 29 June at The Wheatsheaf, Rathbone Place.


FS said...

[John Clute] is, of course, a prominent SF writer.

Clute is a prominent SF critic; he has written relatively little fiction.

Paul M. Cray said...

Not just *a* prominent SF critic, but *the* prominent SF critic. He has written a couple of novels, one of them, "Appleseed", SF. It is also generally accepted that after Shakespeare, Clute has the largest vocabulary of any writer in the English language.

Andy O'Hara said...

Thanks to Sid Tafler for showing an ability to laugh at himself--we could all take a lesson in that. If you can't laugh at yourself, it's been said, someone will come along and do it for you.

David Isaak said...

I'd missed the flap over "Don't Ever Tell", but enjoyed jumping back in time to read all the comments you received.

But almost all of the many comments posted under "anonymous" seemed to be from the same grammar-and-spelling-challenged person. Either that, or the book's defenders all have some very odd illiteracies in common.