Jim Carrey’s metaphysical children’s book is a thing now

‘It’s called How Roland Rolls, and if you wanna know about it, it’s at Roland, at howrolandrolls.com, and I’m gonna self-publish, ’cause that’s just the world right now and I think it’s cool, and it’s gonna be beautifully illustrated, and it’s a story about a wave named Roland, who’s afraid that one day when he hits the beach, his life will be over, but when he gets deep, he’s struck by the notion he’s not just the wave, he’s the great big wide ocean. So it’s a metaphysical children’s book and it deals with a lot of serious things in a really fun way, and I think kids are gonna like it and parents are gonna go to bed feeling a little safer.’

So sayeth Jim Carrey – noted metaphysicist, courter of Emma Stone and sometime arse-speaker – in an interview with HitFix, ostensibly to promote his latest cinematic exploration of the hidden chasms of the soul, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, which only seems like it should have been directed by Terrence Malick, because of all the metaphysics.

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Kickstart Brian Blessed shouting for the children

Clearly familiar with the internet’s love of all things Brian Blessed, London music teacher Matt Parry has taken to Kickstarter in a bid to source funding for his mixed media project for children, Sheherazade. Parry’s aim is to introduce children to classical music through a series of stories told as both audio plays available on CD, scored by a relevant piece of music, and as accompanying graphic novels. (Readers of a certain age who are also progeny of a certain level of aspirational parent might recall the similarly-pitched 90s magazine series The Magical Music Box, whose fortnightly issues contained a radio play on CD or tape that had some thematic or narrative ties to a particular piece of classical music, as well as the complete piece of classical music excerpted in the play and an illustrated print telling of the play in the magazine, alongside some historical context for the music. So yeah, this is like that, to bring to completion an illustrative reference an exceptionally limited number of people will recognise.)

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Mind, Body, Pet and Other Genre Predictions

There are probably as many genres in the world as there are successful living writers. We all know about misery memoir, chick-lit, sick lit, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, dystopian romance, nostalgia fiction, new adult, adult, space opera etc etc and that amorphous beast we just call ‘literature’, into which falls any book we like but we can’t really pair with an obvious partner. They spring up out of seemingly nowhere and dominate our lives and the charts and have publishers rushing to buy up in bulk. But their popularity isn’t random – it is based on a delicate balance of social factors. Tapping into that idea, I’ve made a list of five genres I predict will be massive in the next few years.

(Please note: this is not an analysis of what defines genre. I’d recommend this article by author Kate Griffin if that’s what you’re looking for. She’s smart as hell and makes some really good points.)

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Publishing Trends: A Writer’s Perspective

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘publishing trends.’  I wrote this piece on new adult lit and soon after attended a panel discussion organised by Children’s Book Circle on ‘Sick-Lit’ a publishing trend identified and bemoaned by The Daily Mail in this article.

A lot of things came up in the discussion but one of the best points was made by author Anthony McGowan.  He shared how sceptical he was of trends in general as slapping a label on a group of books that have similar plots or themes deals only with concepts, not characters or writing.  Trends mean that books that are widely different can get lumped together, which isn’t what good writing is about.

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Couch to London Marathon – help us support Book Aid [BLOG]

Gavin - Marathon for Book Aid

This guy definitely ain’t Born to Run, but it’s all for Book Aid, a great cause.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

It’s only a month to go. Gulp.

In 33 days I’ll be running the London Marathon: the culmination of a stop-start, alcohol free, 4 months of lurching from couch to 26 miles.

I’m doing this in support of Book Aid International, a fantastic charity, and one very familiar to us publishing-types. Book Aid works to increase access to books and support literacy, education and development in sub-Saharan Africa.

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5 Questions for Maria Cardona, host of BookMachine Barcelona [INTERVIEW]

Maria Cardona runs her own digital consultancy for publishers and will be hosting our first Spanish BookMachine event. Prior to setting up Mmcardona, she worked in both trade and educational publishing, and was also part of the core London Bookfair team. Here, Maria shares some of her thoughts and tells us why you should come along to BookMachine Barcelona.

Eventbrite - BookMachine Barcelona with Javier Celaya, CEO of Dosdoce.com

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R.I.P. horror novelist James Herbert

An author who held a particularly special place in the hearts of those genre connoiseurs who came of age between the 70s and the dawn of the internet age, James Herbert has died aged 69, says his publisher Pan Macmillan. No cause of death was disclosed, but Herbert is reputed to have passed peacefully in bed. A perennial library checkout of fathers and older cousins, at least in this writer’s family, the novelist’s bibliography spans from his 1974 debut, The Rats, to what would prove to be his final work, 2012’s Ash.

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Today in Rowling: PS3 Pottermore, Casual Vacancy paperback

Though the combination of the two hasn’t always been well received in the past, Sony’s video gaming arm has announced its latest attempt at porting the world of Harry Potter to the Playstation: the company will partner with J. K. Rowling’s Pottermore site for a social gaming initiative on Playstation Home, the online gaming hub of the PS3. Initially, the venture will see a selection of environments known to fans of the books opened up for virtual exploration – Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express are two of the first to be named – and used as locations for assorted games and other interactive experiences, including such Potter universe staples as duelling, collecting trading cards, picking out an owl or other appropriately magical animal and shopping for Hogwarts essentials.

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