Displaying items by tag: vixen novel - Rosie Garland
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 10:42

26.10.2014 - Gothic Manchester Festival 2014

A stellar day in the neo-gothic pomp and circumstance of John Rylands Library's magnificent Historic Reading Room. It's been a dream of mine to read there... and dreams come true.
A delicious highlight of the event was the specially designed (and rather foxy) cake by the talented Annabel de Vetten of Conjuror's Kitchen.
Click to go to Manchester Gothic Festival page

Published in News
Vixen is longlisted for The Green Carnation prize 2014!

The thirteen strong longlist of titles celebrating LGBT writing have been announced after several days of debates between the judges over an exceptional list of submissions, the most the prize has seen in its history to date. This list takes us from fairytale lands to the call centres of Scotland, from Calcutta to Russia and includes fiction, memoir, essays, short stories, non-fiction and the graphic novel.

Chair of the judges for 2014, journalist Kaite Welsh said of the longlist "The judging panel for this year's prize were in luck – some of the most dynamic and exciting books from the past twelve months have been from LGBT authors. Out of those, we've compiled an amazing longlist that should be on everyone's to-read list. The 2014 Green Carnation Prize has coincided with a bumper year for LGBT writing from established authors to new voices. Whittling the list down to 13 was difficult and enjoyable, and we're confident that picking the shortlist from such a great collection will be just as challenging."

Click to go to Green Carnation Prize site

 

Published in News
Friday, 19 September 2014 13:42

10.11.2014 - The Feminist Library, London

Writing Histories – reading with Rosie Garland
Details tbc
5 Westminster Bridge Rd,
London SE1 7XW
The Feminist Library was founded as the Women's Research and Resources Centre in 1975 by a group of women concerned about the future of the Fawcett Library to ensure that the history of the women's liberation movement survived.
Click to go to The Feminist Library site

Published in Gig List

Thank you to Write-Track for featuring me on their blog for a second time!
Here is the text in full, with the link at the end.

On the Write Track - Adventures with writing habits
Rosie Garland – the bonus interview: channelling characters and living a creative life

In our first interview with Rosie Garland we found out how she kept going using rituals to support her writing and overcome the fear of the blank page. She spoke about having to "hack out time for writing" amongst work and grown up responsibilities. Here we find out how she took steps to adjust the balance of her working and creative life, and get an insight into how she writes such amazing characters.

The work-writing balance

Rosie made the decision to go part time in her job, not to write novels specifically, but to shift the balance of her work life and creative life, which she felt was out of kilter. She describes her life as being a process of getting off the career ladder: decreasing the amount of time given over to conventional work and increasing opportunities for creativity.

"When I was a kid I was always writing and had time to draw pictures, write poems, and create alternative universes. Then at the age of 18 'real' life happened. Time to get a sensible job and put creative self-indulgence away. It may only have been a handful of years, yet it felt like a long sojourn away from what I really wanted to do. I realised that all that creativity I had as a kid was a vital part of my existence, not an add-on. What I was doing was moving away from it and denying its importance. Since my late 20s my life has been a slow process of going back to it, partly by taking part-time jobs that gave me time to think."

Despite day jobs taking Rosie away from herself, she didn't resent it: "I got gifts from work and I am very grateful for the things it has given me. I don't think I would have been right being a full time writer back then. I needed to go and engage with the outside world and not stare at my navel."

Writing is the process not the end

Like many writers, Rosie says she writes because she has to. She describes writing as being a process and uses a Zen proverb to illustrate. "If you meet the Buddha on the road – kill him." I must admit to being rather puzzled by the idea of killing the Buddha, so Rosie explains.

"Rather than being literal, the proverb symbolises the creative 'road' I travel as a writer. The 'Buddha' could stand for some idealised faultless novel and therefore the end of needing to strive, grow, create... you get the picture. This deceptive Buddha suggests that I'll reach some magical, perfect endpoint. That a magical endpoint exists. No it doesn't. So I need to throw out that illusion and keep writing. There is no retiring from being writer."

Character: it all starts with a question

The rituals Rosie previously talked about help open her up to ideas and characters. She said "Part of the process is to find ways to put myself in the way of characters, to make it easier for them to come to talk to me." I was fascinated about this approach to developing character and asked her to tell me more.

"When I'm at the absolute beginning of developing a character it will often start as a question that niggles me. So for Abel [the central character in The Palace of Curiosities] the question in my head was – 'what would it be really be like to live forever?' I began to daydream and found that a particular character was answering. He – and his answers – developed into the voice of Abel. He's one example. It happens with the others in a similar way. Often, inconveniently, at 3am..."

"I write pages and pages of conversations with these characters in notebooks, longhand. I might fill six or seven notebooks with rabbiting, unedited scribble. When I've done that I start typing up to see what I've got, where all the gaps are, whether there is a story in the mess. And if, out of all the whatever-thousand words, I see the root of a story then I will start writing."

Right character wrong novel

Rosie says that her characters have very insistent voices and they can stay with her for a long time. Abel began in "awful novel two which was woefully in search of a plot" and couldn't tell his story. Rosie carried him around in her head until she introduced him to Eve in The Palace of Curiosities who enabled him to grow and develop. "He just needed to meet the right people at the right time."

Abel has left Rosie alone. She explains. "He has told his story now. It's like closure. He gets the last line in Palace, 'I am joy, complete, forever'. And that's it. Abel has told his story and has left me alone."

Don't get it right – get it written

Tom Clancy summed it up when he said "just tell the damn story". Rosie believes that you don't have to get it right but get it written. It's very easy to get carried away with research, especially when writing novels set in the past. Because Vixen is set in 1349, it's important the historical details were correct, but they mustn't get in the way of the story. She explains,

"I did some research about mediaeval laundry and some of the awful stuff they used to bleach it, but none of it is in the story – what's important is that Thomas makes Anne do the laundry far more often than necessary and it drives her nuts having to waste all her time. That's the important thing, the interaction between them, not about what paddle she uses. Just tell the damn story."

If you get stuck over a detail Rosie advises putting it in brackets for checking later and carrying on with the storyline. She says "No one cares whether the arrow is tipped with pigeon feather, eagle feather or goshawk feather, what's important is who the hell does he shoot with the arrow."

Read our first interview with Rosie Garland. Find out what she's been up to by following her on Twitter @rosieauthor and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rosielugosi. Or better still read her excellent novels Vixen and The Palace of Curiosities.

Click to go to Write-Track blog page

Published in News
Thursday, 04 September 2014 14:24

29.10.2014 - For Books' Sake - London

 For Books' Sake, Halloween Witchfest

The Proud Archivist
2-10 Hertford Rd,
London N1 5SH

Tickets - £8 advance, £10 on the door
Doors 6pm, event starts at 7pm
For Books' Sake are very excited to have two ghoulishly glorious grrrls giving you the full on Hallowe'en treatment!
Obviously with Hallowe'en being a Friday we've allowed you the dressing up and drinking time for the weekend but thought we wouldn't be For Books' Sake if we didn't offer you something ghastly.
Rosie and Wanda will be reading from their respective books and then discussion the demonisation of women in history and historical fiction, followed by a Q&A.
After the readings and discussion there will be Hallowe'en party games open to all. Can you pin that broomstick on the witch?
Rosie Garland has sang in post-punk gothic band The March Violets, toured with the Subversive Stitch exhibition and performed as Rosie Lugosi the Lesbian Vampire Queen, cabaret chanteuse and mistress of ceremonies.
Having published five solo collections of poetry, Rosie is also winner of the DaDa Award for Performance Artist of the Year and a Poetry Award from the People's Café, New York and won the Mslexia Novel competition in 2012. Rosie's debut novel 'The Palace of Curiosities' was published in March 2013 by HarperCollins. Her second novel, 'Vixen', is out on hardback, ebook and audio (July 2014) with paperback coming in February 2015.
Dr Wanda Wyporska
Wanda recieved her PhD in researching witches and subsequently published 'Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, 1500 - 1800' - A groundbreaking work that looks at the many reasons why individuals used witchcraft, accused each other and admitted to carrying out witchcraft. It goes behind the trials to discover narratives of abuse, power struggles, and the relationships between men and women in the early modern period.
All tickets come with a complementary blood curdling cocktail!
Click to go to For Books' Sake page
Click to go to Facebook event page
Click to buy advance tickets

Published in Gig List
Delighted to announce that Rosie Garland is appearing at TWO events at Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival!

#1 – Writing workshop
Friday 24 October 2014
3:00pm-4:00pm
Venue: Number One Riverside,
Smith Street,
Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Price: £2
Click to book tickets for the writing workshop

# 2 - Meet the author - reading and book signing
Friday 24 October 2014
4:00pm-5:00pm
Venue: Number One Riverside,
Smith Street,
Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Price: £2
Click to book tickets for the reading and signing!

http://rochdaleliteraturefestival.co.uk/

 

Published in Gig List

I was delighted to be asked by Waterstones Bookshop to be a guest contributor to their blog- and here it is. Strange things have been happening since I embarked on my second novel, Vixen... read on!

Coincidence and synchronicity

Was Rosie Garland really being stalked by foxes because she'd just finished writing a book called Vixen- or was something else going on?

When Alex Allden, designer at HarperCollins, showed me Lindsey Carr's remarkable painting of a fox in a tree and suggested it as a cover for my forthcoming novel Vixen, I knew it was perfect.

That's when it started. Since then I've noticed foxes wherever I go – appearing in cathedrals, airports, pubs and museums; on ink cartridges, matchboxes and dashing across supermarket carparks.

I have no idea what's happening, if indeed anything is. I am not superstitious. My grandmother was so bitten by its bug she could barely walk up a flight of stairs without hanging on to a rabbit's foot, which put me off at an early age.

But there is so much foxiness going on. Logically or not, it feels like more than coincidence. As Auric Goldfinger remarked to James Bond, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action".

Maybe coincidence is different to superstition. After all, Albert Einstein said "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous" (The World As I See It) and he knew a thing or two about how the universe works. Conversely, Vladimir Nabokov remarked how "a certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish - but there was no diamond inside. That's what I like about coincidence" (Laughter in the Dark).

I noticed the first outside the post office (sending a copy of my first novel The Palace of Curiosities to the USA). Browsing a craft stall, I was presented with a woodcut of a fox on a village green. How pretty, I thought, buying a set of vulpine greetings cards. What a coincidence when I've just finished a book called Vixen.

It escalated. After performing in York with my band The March Violets, I took a detour to visit Beverley Minster. On the north wall was a medieval carving of a fox disguised as a pilgrim. Standing on its hind legs, flashing its fangs in a broad smile and brandishing a hefty staff (for self-defence of course).

I needn't have gone as far afield. Manchester Cathedral boasts two wonderful fifteenth-century carvings of foxes: one teaching its cubs to read and the other poring over a book. After 28 years of living in this fair city I didn't know they existed (call myself a medievalist? I should hang my head in shame).

It's not just up north. A Hampshire pub surprised me with a Victorian etching of foxes dressed in pink hunting jackets, seated at a table groaning with roast pheasant and grinning slyly as they toast each other, joking about huntsmen tumbling into ditches.

It occurs to me that I'm not tripping over 'straight' representations. All my sightings (and these are a tiny selection) are of trickster foxes, camouflaged and hoodwinking foolish humans. None of them are what they ought to be. Which, 'coincidentally', are some of the themes of Vixen.

Are sly foxes really dogging my footsteps? Is it all a load of old cobblers or is it connected in some way to the imminent publication of my novel? Carl Gustav Jung would have said yes. In the 1920s he coined the word synchronicity to describe what he called "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." To put it in (slightly) simpler words: synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, where they are unlikely to be causally related.

Hmm. Perhaps I should call my next novel 'Finding Viking Treasure in the Garden'. Sadly, I don't think it works that way.

They aren't done with me yet. A couple of weeks ago I landed in Seattle and headed for the information stand to grab a city map. Amongst the brochures was a museum guide with a cover image of Jenny Andersen's enchanting 'Fox Spirit Travelling with the Human Soul'. So - if I am being followed by foxes, they are the most benign of guardians. Even if I don't believe in coincidence, maybe it believes in me. I have decided to enjoy their benevolent appearances.

As for synchronicity, I'll leave the last words to The Red Queen; my favourite character in that under-rated book on quantum physics, Alice Through The Looking Glass.
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first -'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'— but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.

Rosie Garland, for Waterstones.com/blog

Click to go to Carl Jung site

Click for Lindsay Carr's artwork, Morpheus

Click to see Jenny Andersen's Fox Spirit artwork

Click to go to Waterstones blog

Published in News
Diva magazine has given 'Vixen' a great review!

'A compelling story about love and devotion set against the backdrop of superstition, pestilence and hardship that dominate the muddy 14th century landscape. Poetic, surprising and ultimately deeply moving, Vixen will have you hooked faster than it takes to drink a jug of ale and – unlike ale – it will stay with you long after you've reached the final page.'

Diva august 2014

Published in News
Friday, 01 August 2014 09:56

17.7.2014 - VIXEN HARDBACK LAUNCH

My second novel, Vixen, launches today – 17th July 2014!

It has already featured as Grazia magazine's Best Historical fiction pick for summer 2014. Plus, this wonderful review is in the August 2014 issue of Diva magazine.

'A compelling story about love and devotion set against the backdrop of superstition, pestilence and hardship that dominate the muddy 14th century landscape. Poetic, surprising and ultimately deeply moving, Vixen will have you hooked faster than it takes to drink a jug of ale and – unlike ale – it will stay with you long after you've reached the final page.'

 

Published in News

Vixen has been dubbed 'Best for Historical Fiction fans' in Grazia's Summer reading list!

Published in News

News and Events