Bit of a mad weekend: two books released, a play, a lot of writing, more reading, and a new project on the horizon.
Let me explain.
New Crime Novella Released
On Friday my newest crime book was released to the world. Or at least it was meant to be. Normally the processing back-end of the Amazon publishing system runs smooth and fast, allowing for quick price changes or whatever. On Thursday I uploaded GREENER IS THE GRASS but it took so long to process, I missed Friday’s release date altogether!
I can only apologise to those who never got the ebook on promised date. Many of you wrote to me and were rewarded with a free copy — can’t say fairer than that now, can I?
So anyway, GREENER IS THE GRASS is now out there for all to purchase at the magnificently splendid launch price of 89p. Here’s the blurb:
When Jamie Tosh takes a summer job as a holiday rep on the Greek island of Rhodes, he has high hopes of changing his life for good. But paradise turns to hell, when days before his fiancee is due to fly out to meet him, a young girl is murdered in the hotel grounds – and he’s the top suspect! With no way off the island and almost nobody to turn to, Jamie discovers that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Grab it for your UK Kindle here
Grab it for your US Kindle here
Read an excerpt and get other info on the book here
A Play and a Pint
With my wife out of town for the weekend, Saturday was all my own. And I made plans: I went to see a play.
Local theatre company, Siege Perilous, have teamed up with Leith’s Malmaison Hotel to put on a series of pop-up theatre events. I got myself along to the matinee performance on Saturday of a play entitled, Standing Stanes.
This was the first non-traditional theatre play I’d ever attended and it was a brilliant experience. Held in one of the hotel’s function rooms, a stage had been erected complete with light and sound systems. However, the full room was utilised as performance space making it a complete 360 intimate show.
Standing Stanes is billed as:
a wry political comedy. It centres on a young man who, fired with entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to improve his community, endures a tireless journey as he comes face-to-face with the bureaucracy of larger-than-life, verging on cartoonesque officials. Set in the 1980s when it was originally penned, it has a charming retro appeal.
I was hooked from the start. The 80s backdrop appealed greatly to me — as did the soundtrack — but it was the humour and political satire that gave this play a real sense of nostalgia that had come full circle. A bit like the Sex Pistols re-releasing God Save the Queen only without the cashing in mentality.
The cast of four delivered a play that contained a character list that consisted of fourteen. Yes, I said 14! However, while you might think that impossible, you had to see it to believe it, and yet none of the cast changes conflicted or removed from the story. This was where the adaptability and talent of Mark Kydd and Derek Banner came into their own, as they switched from character to character in a kaleidoscope of costume and vocal changes.
The premise was that Craig (played by Matt Robertson) had a grand vision of building a Dundee version of Stonehenge. Backed (eventually) by his more down to earth fiancée (played by LaVerne Hawthrone) whom he planned to marry inside the stone circle on its grand opening, he set about putting his plan into action. And this is where the political references and slapstick came in, as the bureaucracy and shady ministerial dealings worked away behind Craig’s back.
Afterwards, I had a beer and a chat with my friends (Andy and Tina —Director and Producer) then departed for home to get back to work, although when I did stop for the evening, I treated myself to a fabulous lamb vindaloo and a few more beers.
New Poetry Collection Released
Sunday was all about my alter-ego, Chas Stramash. I (he) released my latest collection of poetry, POEMS FROM A COFFEE SHOP WINDOW (uploaded to Amazon in plenty more time and ended up being available 24 hours early!) Here’s the blurb for this one:
A collection of poems inspired by coffee. Written in the poet’s favourite coffee shop, this chapbook contains 36 poems about the observations inside and from the window of a coffee shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. If you like satirical or humorous poetry and coffee, this is most definitely your bag.
You can find out more about this new collection at Chas’s website
Or buy it direct for your Kindle here
The Other Stuff
As I mentioned, the rest of my weekend surrounded writing: still working through the next revision of GATECRASH as well as a short story for a competition. I’m also reading two books: Ian Rankin’s The Complaints (in the coffee shop but finding it rather a slow burner) and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (enjoying immensely).
And of course I mentioned a new project. Off the back of seeing Saturday’s play, I’m toying with the idea of revamping the stageplay I wrote a few years back. Just toying, mind. Don’t get your hopes up yet.
How interesting and serendipitous that you too should have written a poetry book about coffee. Local writer Dai Lowe tackled the same subject just three months ago. His made extensive reference to T.S. Eliot (particularly the line ‘I have measured out my life in coffee spoons’ from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock). You may have heard of Eliot; his work inspired the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ‘Cats’.