Prezzy time with a difference - Dennis Hamley.

Spirit of the Place by Dennis Hamley. Artwork: Anastasia Sichkarenko

It's a very long time since I felt excitement about Christmas coming. Contentment perhaps, pleasure
possibly, mildly stirring anticipation conceivably. But excitement? No, not for the last half-century at least.

So why should I feel these little thrills of expectation now? Surely I should know better at my age? You can be the judge of that. I know I've been banging on about this for months but now it really is happening.

Later this week or early next week the first copies will arrive of my limited edition venture. One hundred copies of a good quality  signed and numbered hardback edition of Spirit of the Place. A beautiful object - I hope. No, I don't just hope, I know it will be a beautiful production. I wanted to reproduce the whole dust jacket here, because I think it's great. Anastasia Sichkarenko did another lovely job. However, Blogger seemed to think it was an image too far. and refused to oblige. Even so, the object itself will be something worth having no matter what's inside.

Yes, it's a risk. At £15.99 a copy I should clear £800 if I sell the lot. If I don't - well, the spare bedroom will for a long time be even more difficult to enter than it is now, full as it is with unsold paintings and books and a TV nobody wants despite our efforts to give it away. This is an experiment. Can such a project work? How valid is the Book Beautiful' theory? Have I wasted a fairly considerable sum of money on a folly?

Well, if I have, it would still be worth it because  something worthwhile has been brought into the world. Even so, there is a slight undercurrent of fear accompanying the excitement. To start with, I have to admit that I made a miscalculation. I thought my timetable would allow the main activity to be before Christmas. A big launch party would take place with everybody scrambling to get  a last-minute Christmas present. Fat chance. I should have remembered that the first general rule of planning is that EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER THAN YOU BARGAINED FOR and the first rule specific to this case is EVERYBODY IS BUSY AT CHRISTMAS. Somehow, in that first fine flush of enthusiasm, such petty considerations didn't seem significant.

No matter, I thought when I finally realised that they were. I'll get it all sorted out in the New Year. Then I remembered that everybody will be either exhausted or too busy trying to make their Great New Resolutions last beyond January, so considering obscure limited editions from some bloke in Oxford won't be high among their priorities. And besides, we won't be here. We'll be on the other side of the world for our usual two months in the sun.  So, except for the orders I've already received which I'll sort out before Christmas, all bets are off until the end of February.

Actually, I'm relieved. March will be here, Spring will be springing, the sun will be shining  and life won't be so pressured. The books don't have to be sold overnight so the process can be turned into something long and leisurely. First of all, there WILL be a launch party, it will be in mid-March, I'm negotiating with three possible venues and anybody who goes to it and buys a book there will get a surprise literary goody as well. Anybody who comes having already bought a copy might get two extra goodies.  AND YOU'RE ALL INVITED.  I'll give final details in my next month's blog.

So here's the drill for anybody interested. The book costs £15.99. Postage and packing will be £4. Anybody who'd like one should contact me either through Facebook - to me directly, through the Authors Electric page or (preferably) by email through my website (

I'll take cheques (payable direct to me) or card. When  I hear from you I'll reserve a copy and send you an email with my home address and bank details.  As soon as we're home at the beginning of March I will start sending the copies out.

Authors Electric Dennis Hamley

And whether you buy one or not, may I wish you all a really brilliant Christmas and the sort of New Year we would wish for ourselves.


Jan Needle said…
You bastard, Hamley. I was almost crushed to death in your spare room WITHOUT a mass infusion of books. I'm going to have to buy one for self-preservation at the very least - so put me down on the list. Bastard note 2. You didn't say that telly was for the chop. How about chucking it in as part of the deal?

In the meantime - love to you and Kay, have a great Christmouse, and see you soon.

PS - that's not a bad idea for a TV series, is it? Dangermouse did very well - so why not Christmouse?
Enid Richemont said…
Can't have Christmouse, Jan - it would deeply offend the god-botherers. And since the extreme members of one persuasion of that community amuse themselves by chopping off people's heads (among other delights)I'd steer clear of a combination of a deity and a small creature with a tail and whiskers.
Dennis Hamley said…
Not only has my blog been put up (not be me) on the wrong day and now I've been asked to prove I'm not a robot ON MY OWN BLOG, which adds insult to injury, but I've missed out on a chance to get rid of that blasted telly. Jan, it's yours. And I'll let you off the £4 postage and packaging for the book too. Not a bad deal, eh? But buyer collects (tv, not book).
Jen Alexander said…
What an exciting idea! I'm going over to fb to follow your page because if at all poss I want to be at the launch!
Jan Needle said…
Good point, Enid - but what if he's got a sidekick called Moushammed? They could come from the little Devon village of Buddamouth, and the evil villain could by Richard Dawkitss (hint of the Jackboot there, see?) As you're so keen, you have my full permission to pitch it to the BBC, the America 4 Jesus Channel, and Al Jazeera. I see great things ahead of you. Or at least a head...

Dennis, having drunk all your wine and gobbled Kay's lovely food, even a Pompey slumkid drew the line at nicking off with your television. I suppose you've noticed the seventeen bottles of Premier Grand Cru Chateau Canon and the carton of sterry milk we filched? Viv does like a drop of sterry in her tea. It's a Manchester thing...
Dennis Hamley said…
There's me thinking I'd drunk all seventeen on my own one hectic evening a week before you came and had, simply and unsurprisingly, forgotten.It's nice when mysteries find their solutions. I'm glad the milk went down well. Regards to Viv. There are lots and lots of Manchester things, as the Mancs never stopped reminding me when I lived there and couldn't shoot an elephant in a ginnel with a shotgun. Or so they kept telling me.

I'm being asked to prove I'm not a robot AGAIN. That's three times this morning.
Jan Needle said…
When I worked in Liverpool I was told I couldn't chase a jowler down a jigger (not that I'd have ever tried: I'm not that sort of boy.)

That robot thing. It asks me too, and I ignore it. Far as I can see I still get posted. Well, you replied, dinchoo?
Susan Price said…
Dennis - it's the 14th. Your day is the 14th. As for the robot-test, it seems we're stuck with it, Google has so deemed it.
Chris Longmuir said…
Are you absolutely sure you're not a robot? I have my doubts, you know! I'm off now to see whether I get past the robot test! Might have known, it's there. Maybe it means the entire tribe of Authors Electric are really robots. I reckon it's all to do with the electronic moniker we have!
Dennis Hamley said…
I;m glad if Google's doing it to all of us and not just me. At least these numbers are readable. ONG, it's done it again. Sue, I know it's the 14th.That's why I was surprised to see it up on the 13th!
glitter noir said…
Dennis, I'm behind you on this one--sold on the fabulous cover. Can't afford it at the moment, but will definitely sign up a.s.a.p., in any copies remain in Feb or March.
Lydia Bennet said…
Lovely to read such enthusiasm, Dennis, keep us posted on the launch party, and the greatest good luck with your limited edition venture.

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