Martin Amis review, etc.

I'm away in Spain at the moment, but God help me, I can't help checking my email and updating my blog (during my self-imposed two hours each day novel-time - bad Valerie). Anyway. My review of Martin Amis' latest, Lionel Asbo, is live at Bookmunch. Spoiler: I LOVED it, and I'm so pleased I loved it, because I was such a fan of his earlier stuff and so disappointed by the last novel. So read the review, read the book, etc. And I'll go back to my novel then the pool - woo-hoo. Sorry, I'm taunting you. I'm also reading some niiiice books - Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge, which I thought I'd admire but not like, but which I actually adored and want you all to read, too, and, on the Kindle, Kerry Hudson's Tony Hogan, which is bloody brilliant and nicely sweary - and I'll be interviewing Kerry about the book here on this very blog, in a week's time, July 5th, so stay tuned! There's a tie-in giveaway associated with Kerry's blog tour, too, more details of which anon. It's also my birthday next Tuesday, and I'll mainly be spending it in airports. Lovely. So in the meantime: novel/pool/beer, go!

The Hat You Wear is free!

This is my 400th blog-post! And to celebrate, I'm going to catapult you all over to Amazon, where the e-anthology I mentioned the other day, The Hat You Wear, by Comma Press, containing my story, The Lovely Phelan Ladies, is now now free to download on Kindle (or for the Kindle app on your phone, etc)! Go, read! (And thanks for reading this ever-so-ancient blog of mine. Mwah!)

Alan Warner review

My review of Alan Warner's The Deadman's Pedal is live at Bookmunch. We're big Warner fans here at Casa Valerie.

The Lovely Phelan Ladies

My story, The Lovely Phelan Ladies, features in The Hat You Wear, a special Kindle book made up of stories and poems by everybody who performed at this year's Manchester Book Market. It's only 77p and it's available now - give it a go!

Enough is launched!

So we had the joint Jawbreakers/Enough/Braking Distance launch event last Friday! The books are totally, definitely out in the world now. And the night itself was ace.

Brilliantly MC'ed by the incomparable Fat Roland (who, like me, read at the Manchester Book Market earlier in the day, in the rain - hardcore), we had readings from Dan Carpenter, Benjamin Judge, Rupan Malakin, Sarah-Clare Conlon, Trevor Byrne, Jenn Ashworth and David Gaffney, as well as me and Calum.

Nobody fell over (my benchmark of success) and Seren didn't quite manage to grapple the microphone from anyone, though she did heckle mightily while I was on-stage and then pestered everybody and tried to upstage Calum. Oops.

It was especially cool to have the launch in Blackwell's, my one-time workplace, with so many wonderful friends there to support me/us. Then we all got trashed in Sandbar - woo! The rest of my weekend was kind of manic, if nice: a trip to Macclesfield on Saturday to see family (baby nephews!) that involved a TWO HOUR traffic jam (!) on the way there, and a trip to Birmingham on Sunday to usher in my new tenant (massive phew; bankruptcy averted for another month) and to see friends, go to the park, and draw chalk pictures on the pavement.

We're so arty it hurts, man. Then we counteracted it all by getting all footbally and dressing Seren in a travesty of an Irish t-shirt (blame my sister) which only caused the team to go and LOSE, damn it.

We're best sticking to the books, really.

Jackie Kay review

My review of Jackie Kay's Reality, Reality is live at Bookmunch.

book launch tommorrow!

Okay, so, EXCITEMENT: my chapbook, Enough, is getting its official launch tomorrow in Blackwell's on Oxford Road here in Manchester! Look at this ad! Be there at 18:30 to witness this fancy, fancy event!*

*I cannot guarantee fanciness, but I CAN guarantee booze.

Bruno Jasieński review

My review of Bruno Jasieński's I Burn Paris is live at Bookmunch.