Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Lydia Lunch - Brought to Book

What is the first book you can recall that really grabbed you and carried you along with it? 

Last Exit to Brooklyn, at the age of 12 or 13.

Is there an all time favourite book, or one you keep coming back to? 

All of E M Cioran… The Temptation to Exist, The Trouble With Being Born, All Gall Is Divided, Short History of Decay… Cormac McCarthy, Suttree and Blood Meridian… Joan Goytisolo, Juan the Landless, Marks of Identity… Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.

Can you tell us a little about your own writing process. Do you have a ritual or regimen, do you write long-hand, into a word-processor or dictate? 

 Consume massive amounts of coffee, enough cigarettes to kill off all of Texas, pace a hole in the floor, rip out clumps of hair, kick the wall, scream AS LOUD AS YOU CAN and then settle down and JUST DO IT!

With speeches, stories, books… I always start writing at five or six a.m. and quit by ten or eleven. Paradoxia I wrote on an old typewriter. It took about three months. It just didn’t feel right doing it on the computer. For my columns I use word-processing. Songs spurt forth whenever they feel like it, so I usually keep notebooks full of random lines… which eventually get compiled… or they’re shat out all at once.

Any advice for the aspiring writer? 

All a writer needs to do is find their voice and tell thee truth. Or at least their version of it. Editing is one of the most important aspects of what makes good reading. Most of my editing is almost ‘in-camera’. I have such a fat-free style, and being the contrarian I am, I usually need to expound more, not edit. But that’s me. 

What do you think the social roles of the writer are? 

Depends on what kind of writing… The only ‘social duty’ a writer has is to not be boring.

Read the extended Scrawl interview with Lydia Lunch here ...or go to the official Lydia Lunch website.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Evolution of Western Art by Remy Dean

Evolution of Western Art is the new non-fiction book by Remy Dean - an essential resource for the art student, novice practitioner and general art enthusiast who would like to expand their knowledge, and enhance their appreciation, of art. 

This fresh approach to art history follows a timeline that spans more than 40,000 years, from pre-history to the present day, using clear language and specific examples to chart the development of key ideas and major concepts along the path. Art is the ultimate expression of a culture and often survives as the only evidence of how people thought and acted. Could art be one of the factors that saved the human race from early extinction? Do we make art because we are intelligent, or has human intellect grown as a response to our art? How does our art define us?

Remy Dean is a teacher with more than a decade’s experience of lecturing in art history and contextual understanding to young adults (levels 2, 3 and 4). The aim is to remain clear and concise without over-simplification and not shy away from the important concepts. Each example is approached using a method of analysis suited to the work.

This book guides the reader along a path that runs through the major landmarks in the evolution of western art. It takes in ancient art, mediaeval art, the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, the art of the Enlightenment, the Romantics, Impressionists, Expressionists, Modernists, the Abstract, the Post-Modern, the Conceptual and the contemporary scene…

This is the first non-fiction title from Questing Beast Books since Maren Hancunt's Lady Lazarus: Confronting Lydia Lunch, published ten years ago, and follows 'hot on the heels' of the electronic re-issues of Dean's novel, Scraps, and novelette, Final Bough...

Click here to preview or buy Evolution of Western Art by Remy Dean

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Scraps by Remy Dean - Kindle Edition

questing beast books are proud to present the new Kindle edition of Scraps a novel by Remy Dean:

Tom doesn't know which city he is in or what drug he is addicted to and is forced to confront himself on a strange journey of self discovery - or maybe self deception.

On the run from the cops and two factions of the mob, he falls in with a gang of street punks and poets.

Under the influence of three very different women and assorted substances, Tom must sort out his dreams from his memories and come to terms with what he has done, or failed to do...

Scraps is brave and uncompromising - a surprising story told with startling style - brutal, flippant and fun.

Lydia Lunch, author, confrontationalist, musician and multi-media artist, said of Dean's first novel, "great language, poetry and images..." she also commented that, "the sex was hot".

Miles Hatfield in his review in 'The Champion' described it as, "a twisted tale... a freewheeling, experimental novel". He realised that, "Dean has taken a few risks... there are some startling and surreal episodes," and goes on to say that, "there is plenty of energy in the writing and the yarn rattles along at a cracking pace".

Susan Watt, a senior editor at HarperCollins described Scraps as, "a really moody, and inspired portrait of urban life at its seediest".

Writers News called 'Scraps', "a fast moving, gripping story of love, lust and moralities," whereas Writers Monthly branded it as a, "shocking debut novel, also describing it as, "racy, gripping, brutal and startling..."

Others have likened Dean's distinctive gritty-crime-noir fantasy style to the films of Quentin Tarantino and Scrawl UK said, "An intelligent crime novel with a romantic twist... A dense and powerful debut novel, 'Scraps' has the visual impact of cutting edge cinema and the lyrical quality more often found in good song writing. The theme challenges you to re-think your own morality."

Remy Dean has added this note to the new edition: "Music was an important part of the writing process for this novel – it helped me to create and capture certain moods and atmosphere. I was writing as if describing a film I had dreamt, and I had music in mind for the dream soundtrack of that film. The sounds that were playing as I wrote, and in various ways filtered through into the text, included music and lyrics by the following artists, to whom I wish to extend my gratitude for their positive influence upon this piece of writing and upon my life, then and now: Dave Graney (The Moodists / The Coral Snakes), Lydia Lunch (8 Eyed Spy), Gavin Friday (Virgin Prunes), BrainDeath, Slab, Eric Serra, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Go-Betweens, Hunters & Collectors, Nick Cave (Birthday Party), Scott Walker, Gordon Lightfoot... If you really listen to this book, you will hear them all."

Buy Scraps direct on-line

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Russell Grant - Brought to Book

What is the most recent book you have thoroughly enjoyed? 

The Isles by Norman Davis. Gave me great insight into the true origins of the British islands. For instance the Welsh are the real British, the Scots are Irish, the Irish are Europeans and the English are Germanics! Simplified, but in a nutshell!

What is the first book you can recall that really grabbed you and carried you along with it? 

The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan. A brilliant book that was so compelling I couldn't put it down. I read it around the age of ten, I was at school in Hillingdon, Middlesex and had to write a review for my English Lit exam… I passed.

Do you have a favourite author? 

No, I don't really have a favourite author. I tend to have a favourite subject. Any kind of local history particularly where my ancestral roots are. On my mother's side that tends to be Meirionnydd, Glamorgan/Morgannwg, Middlesex, Isle of Wight and Cornwall whilst my father's lineage is Scottish Highlands, Devon, Middlesex and Yorkshire. I suppose that makes me a true Brit!

Russell Grant in the Snowdonian sunshine
Is there an all-time favourite book, or one that you keep coming back to? 

MMmmm… difficult, but Bartholomew's Gazetteer Ninth Edition is one, Place Names Of The British Isles is another, plus my own tome: although I have written dozens of books on astrology my particular favourite is the definitive book on counties, The Real Counties Of Britain - my last British best seller. It contains information and research that is proving invaluable for work on a new series of web sites I am involved with in an advisory capacity.

Russell Grant is a well-known TV personality, astrologer, author, new-age guru and a bona fide ‘household name’. In 1978, he became the first astrologer in more than three centuries to (openly) present a consultation to members of the British Royal Family. His astrological columns have appeared in more than 250 newspapers worldwide and he was the UK’s first ‘live television astrologist’. He is also a popular writer on travel, people and places – and lists Penmon Priory in Anglesey, and Portmeirion Village, among his fave locations in the entire world. He was a resident of Snowdonia and is often involved in local community events. For more information on Russell’s life and works, visit www.russellgrant.com

This snippet originally appeared in the second news stand edition of Scrawl Magazine.
Russell Grant was talking with Remy Dean.