Displaying items by tag: freaks

Friday, 18 October 2013 09:31

8.10.2013 - The Skinny feature and interview

Really pleased to have an interview & feature in The Skinny this month!

It's free to pick up in venues round Liverpool & Manchester during October, or click on the link below and go to 'current issues'.

The Skinny - main website

Published in News
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:30

The Next Big Thing

Ok: so I’ve done some guest blogs - for the fabulous Mslexia magazine (http://www.mslexia.co.uk ) amongst others. But I am new to personal blogging. So when the wonderful Michelle Green http://www.michellegreen.co.uk asked me to pick up the baton for The Next Big Thing, I thought, no time like the present to get started.

So here goes - answering questions on my forthcoming debut novel The Palace of Curiosities.


I will then tag five more writers who'll tell you about their 'next big thing' next Wednesday.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

The Palace of Curiosities is set in a Victorian sideshow. One of the main narrators is Eve, a woman entirely covered in hair. Abel, the other narrator, is also profoundly ‘different’ – but his difference is not obvious at the beginning. I’ve always been interested in people who don’t fit. What happens when they try. What happens when they don’t. I’m also fascinated by people who think they are ‘normal’, and what that whole concept of ‘normal’ is actually about. I guess this is the engine that drives a lot of my writing.


What genre does your book fall under?

It could fall under one of many headings – or none. I’m not a genre writer. Yes, it’s set in the 1850s, but I am not a ‘historical’ writer. It has murders – but it’s not a crime novel. It has some unconventional sex – but it’s not a bodice-ripper. And so on. It’s been picked up by the commercial fiction arm of HarperCollins, yet they are launching it as part of their ‘literary collection’. So, go figure.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m not in the least bit interested in ‘names’. I’d like folk who can act rather than simply pout at the camera or are This Year’s Thing. Neither do I want Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam anywhere near it. Yes, I am smiling as I type this.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
The Palace of Curiosities is told through the eyes of Eve, the Lion-Faced Girl and interwoven with the story of Abel, the Flayed Man - both freaks of nature, both searching for escape. It explores life on the fringes of society and traces their struggle for self-discovery on the boundaries of what is perceived as human.


Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ll say right now that this whole experience is a dream come true. I am pinching myself on a regular basis. I have a gorgeous agent, Charlotte Robertson of Aitken Alexander Associates, and my publisher is the lovely Katie Espiner at HarperCollins. It’s out in March 2013. To say I am happy is the understatement of this or any other century.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Where do I begin? I’d been with a previous agent for twelve years, and had given him four novels. But however hard I tried (and did I try), however hard I worked on editorial suggestions, nothing seemed good enough to get through the door of a publisher. So – I’d pretty much given up. I decided, as a final fling, to enter this novel (and another of the four – but that’s another story) into the Mslexia Novel Competition 2011. It ruddy well won the darn thing, and the other novel was a runner-up. Great googly moogly.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Abel is a character who has been ‘with’ me for years. I tried to write his story in a previous novel (one that is firmly under the bed with no prospect of it ever being taken out) and couldn’t get it right. So, I started afresh. The inspiration I needed was reading about how ‘freaks’ were exhibited in the nineteenth century, in particular the story of hairy woman Julia Pastrana (billed as ‘The Ugliest Woman in the World’). She was touted round the USA by an unscrupulous showman – when she died he had her stuffed so she could continue to earn him money. Good grief.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
There is love, jealousy, violence, betrayal, secrets, lies, odd sex (as well as a bit of the ordinary), belly-dancing - and a lion who gets his revenge.


My five writers for next Wednesday are:
To be announced...

Published in News
Saturday, 09 November 2013 11:41

The Palace of Curiosities

Winner of the Mslexia Novel Competition 2012, longlisted for The Desmond Elliott Prize 2013 and the Polari First Prize for First Book 2014. It was also winner of the Cooperative Bank 'Loved By You' LGBT Book of the Year 2013.

"Gentlemen and Ladies! You have come on a very special evening. How happy I am to welcome you to this Palace of Curiosities on such an auspicious occasion. What luck! What serendipity! For tonight we have mirth! Wit! And Jollity! We humbly offer for your discernment Wonder Unparalleled, Incredible Feats of Daring. Step inside for The Wonders of the Age! See The Lion-Faced Woman and The Marsyas of Modern Times, Star Attractions at Professor Arroner's Astonishing Marvels!"

The Palace of Curiosities: UK / Commonwealth all formats available (hardback, paperback, audio, ebook)

Read reviews here:

"Fabulously strange historical debut... a romp filled with sheer demented fun." - Suzi Feay

'The Palace of Curiosities is a jewel-box of a novel, with page after page, scene after scene, layer after layer of treats and surprises. Garland is a real literary talent: definitely an author to watch.' – Sarah Waters

'Garland's lush prose is always a pleasure.' – The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/apr/06/palace-of-curiosities-review

'Garland has woven an alternately brutal and beautiful story about love and belonging in a vividly conveyed underworld, rich in carny phantasmagoria and lyrical romance.' – The Metro
http://metro.co.uk/2013/03/27/3560891-3560891/

'The bewitching Palace of Curiosities will appeal to fans of Angela Carter & magic realism alike.' - Good Housekeeping

'Fantastic... It's an intriguing tale in which the narrative deftly alternates between the two lead characters, drawing readers ever deeper into a world that is horrifying and dazzling but seems every bit as real as our own.' – Creative Tourist
https://www.creativetourist.com/articles/reading-and-writing/liverpool/in-the-land-of-publishing-persistence-is-king-rosie-garland-gets-a-break/

'Garland has produced a fascinating and delightful book. A cross between Philip Pullman and Angela Carter, she takes us on an evocative and wonderful journey full of magical delights and stunning set pieces... she made me gasp with the audacity of her ideas and smile with the light beauty of her prose.' - GScene
https://issuu.com/gscene/docs/gscene_jun13?e=1754316/5558671

'The characters are fascinating, and Victorian London is vividly captured, and of course the language sparkles like sharp-cut jewels.' – Elizabeth Baines
http://elizabethbaines.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/rosie-garlands-launch-of-palace-of.html?spref=fb

'A stunning piece of work, with strong themes of identity, acceptance of the Other, and a touchingly unique love story between two fabulous main characters. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the benchmark against which the rest of this year's debuts will have to measure themselves.' – GoodReads
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/454021227

About the novel

Before Eve is born, her mother goes to the circus. She buys a penny twist of coloured sugar and perches on the edge of her seat to watch the heart-stopping main attraction: a lion, billed as a monster from the savage heart of Africa, forged in the heat of a merciless sun. Mama swears she hears the lion sigh, just before it leaps... and nine months later when Eve is born, the story goes, she doesn't cry – she meows and licks her paws.
When Abel is pulled from the stinking Thames, the mudlarks are sure he is long dead. As they search his pockets to divvy up the treasure, his eyes crack open and he coughs up a stream of black water. But how has he survived a week in that thick stew of human waste?
Cast out by Victorian society, Eve and Abel find succour from an unlikely source. They soar to fame as The Lion Faced Girl and The Flayed Man, star performers in Professor Josiah Arroner's Palace of Curiosities.
Set in 1850s London, this is the story of Eve and Abel; both freaks of nature searching for escape. It explores what it's like to be different, and traces their struggle for self-discovery on the boundaries of what is perceived as human.

 

Published in Novels

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