Monday, 28 December 2015

Two Christmas/New Year Freebies, Terrorism, and a Lovely Dog

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I hope, as well, that we all have a saner New Year - saner, because our 2015 world seems to have gone completely off the rails (and lovely Hattie, on the right, agrees with me. Her little world consists of cocktails of smells, chasing things, and the occasional treat - like a stick to destroy, or a carrot to munch - no oil, guns or money - MUCH nicer than ours).

Since I last blogged on this site, a great deal has happened in the world, and most of it unpleasant. There were the atrocious attacks on people in Paris - most of the victims young, and with their whole lives ahead of them - and now we are, it seems, at war against the people who planned this. I, like most of us, had mixed feelings about bombing Raqqa, the apparent 'Head of the Snake', but on the whole, I simply couldn't see how doing it would resolve anything. The best suggestion I've seen online has been to turn the whole area into a no-fly zone, which would curb the barrel bombs too, if only it could be made to work.

The world is facing an armed and technology-savvy Medieval Theocracy - unimaginable ten or fifteen years ago. In my late husband David's library, I've just found a Ken Macleod novel with the chilling title: 'THE EXECUTION CHANNEL', and the blurb: 'The War on Terror is Over. Terror Won'. We had very different tastes in books, David and I, but this one seems so uncomfortably close to the current situation that I think I must read it.

The Game by Enid Richemont
My own Young Adult dystopia, The Game, was written long before any of this happened, and first published by Walker Books. Its trigger was the radio, which, Musak-like, at the time, was seeping into every retail outlet. One afternoon, I walked into a shop in Camden Town with my young daughter who needed some shoes, and within a few moments of entering, was bombarded with irrelevant details of a horrendous murder in North Wales. Out of this experience grew my fantasy of a world subliminally controlled by sound - the Queen's music - the take-over being the work of one of the mythical Furies who's placed a bet with her two sisters.

The book, almost immediately, caught the eye of Verronmead Productions, a small local film company who spotted the possibility of easy filming on location, but, alas, in spite of an Options contract, it never happened, and eventually, the book went out of print. Between us, David and I re-published it as an e-book, and I'm now offering it free, as a post-Christmas and pre-New Year present, today and tomorrow. I hope you'll enjoy reading it. Comments and reviews most welcome.

On a lighter note, the only book (so far) I've ever 'self' (as opposed to re-) published is Dragoncat.
Dragoncat by Enid Richemont
Aimed at readers of around 6-8 (second grade and upwards in the USA), it's set in the Chinese community in North London, and features a kitten who is quite dramatically 'different'. The little Chinese supermarket where it's based is real, and it does have a cat. I went there with my Chinese illustrator friend, Mei-Yim Low, to interview the owners (she translated my questions).

Although my agent loved it - it was one of her favourite books - it was never picked up by a trade publisher, so we decided to self-publish it, and David, who was always up for a technological challenge, designed the cover image. I'm now seriously considering bringing it out it in a print edition via CreateSpace, in his memory.

DRAGONCAT is my second Christmas/New Year freebie, and will be available free on December 28th and 29th. Please share it with your children, especially if you happen to be Chinese.


4 comments:

Wendy Jones said...

I love the idea of a Dragoncat. What a superb concept. It is amazing where our writers minds can take us, despite the trials of the real world in which we live.

Anna Munden said...

Love the picture of Hatty! She is so blissfully cute. Please do print Dragoncat, it looks fabulous, was so nice to have you for christmas. Come to Bristol soon! Love, Anna x x

Billy Munden said...

Recently i found the time to read "the game" and really genuinely loved it, its interesting to know that it doesn't all come from imagination and there is inspiration of real life things. T'was lovely to see you again at christmas this year and hope to see you see you again soon
love Bill xx

Ps: it seems like a no-brainer to print "Dragoncat" it sounds brilliant xxx

Enid Richemont said...

Thanks, Wendy.

I have to confess that the two following comments came from two of my grandchildren who may well have a partisan pov, but I'm still flattered by Billy's very real appreciation of "THE GAME", which he read in its original paperback edition as first published by Walker Books.