How are you doing? This is the second blog of the week and I’m on a roll, I hope you are too. Now, I don’t know about you, but I love writing about new experiences, especially if it’s to do with books, food and fashion (three of my life long passions). And because I frequent a fair few places that I love, I usually make notes on my phone just in case I want to do write ups of them at some point.
Whilst I’m taking a day off from writing Book 2 (still editing swathes of the Screaming Snowflakes sequel but it’s getting there), I thought I’d check out the notes on my phone. That one single memo is starting to read like a mini-dissertation so I either stop taking notes (not possible, I’m an inquisitive soul you know) or start gleaning information for a selection of cool punchy blog posts.
I’m going to dedicate this post to events I attended in December at Derby’s Quad. I remember them well, because the first one was a film screening, director Q&A and book launch all rolled into one. Plus I was freezing my fingernails off in the depths of winter (for some reason I always remember the weather) leaving this particular event etched in my memory forever more. Here is me (somewhat awkwardly crouching) alongside the great Lawrence Gordon Clark and forbidding-looking-but-totally-sweet Tony Earnshaw.
The venue was the cool Quad which triples up as a cinema-gallery-café bar and a really quaint hangout spot in Derby. It was special cinema showing of the BBC’s ‘A Ghost Story For Christmas: A Warning To The Curious’, followed by an interview with series director Lawrence Gordon Clark. The latter had just come up from London to celebrate the launch of the new book ‘The Christmas Ghost Stories of Lawrence Gordon Clark’ and was joined by Tony Earnshaw (writer and editor extraordinaire – and in this case, editor of the book too) who also conducted the fun and informative Q&A. I’m in middle of the book and loving it so far. It’s a collection of short stories by Montague Rhodes James with introductions and prefaces by the ever fabulous Mark Gatiss (Dr Who, Sherlock), and Clark himself.
Now, the film itself was part of a BBC series which has dated very well and that scared the bejesus out of me last year (I scare easy, I do). It originally ran in 1971 during the Christmas holiday period and continued its yearly broadcast till the special year of 1977 (a special year because that’s my birth year). Clark was so ahead of his time and I loved the way he encapsulated sheer terror of the blighted curious (archaeologist Paxton brilliantly played by Peter Vaughan). Because once Pandora’s Box is open (I don’t want to give too much away), there’s no going back baby. The event was brilliantly organised and well attended, so kudos to the Quad team for putting on an artsy, engaging evening. Do continue putting on great events like these because that’s what makes Derby such a cool place to be. I’m a staunch supporter of the arts, and to see the likes of Tony Earnshaw and Lawrence Gordon Clark in Derby reminds me how vibrant and burgeoning the arts scene is in the cosmopolitan city that is Derby.
Whilst I’m at it, I must mention another book launch I attended last year, again at the Derby Quad. This was an anthology edited and curated by course tutor Alex Davis of BooHooBooks. The writing talent in Derby is clear to see from this anthology (I’m half-way through it) and Davis is a shrewd and incisive editor. I love championing local talent and I urge you to buy this book. In the meantime I look forward to seeing more of Alex’s work.