Free From All Danger – The Launch

On Thursday I officially launched Free From All Danger. You know that, of course; I’ve been talking about it for a long time.

It was a great evening, about 50 people turned up (some joined the Leeds Library on the spot; others plan to do so very soon, which makes me happy).

IMG_1868

The audience arrives

And it all finished up with the splendid Hill Bandits performing an aching, grieving version of Our Captain Cried – the song that gives the book its title.

IMG_20171109_193438

The Hill Bandits

And people enjoyed the performance. Some said they’d never come across anything quite like it before, the mix of words and music. And the music (composed and recorded by an old friend, Chris Emmerson, with the fiddle piece behind Con the Blind Fiddler composed and performed by Hal Parfitt-Murray of the Danish band Basco) was excellent, atmospheric, and moving at times.

DSCF2047

The author and composer share a moment

I know many of you couldn’t be there. And I didn’t want the moment to simply vanish. After all, I’d put in a month’s rehearsal to try and make sure the timings worked. It was more intense than I’d expected, a huge step outside my usual comfort zone.

Over the weekend I recorded a version of the soundtrack. Nothing fancy on the voice, just dry, using the mic on my computer, then a quick mixdown with the music. I hope you’ll fancy giving it a listen:

One small warning. It will eat up 25 minutes of your time.

Meanwhile, I’ve included a few pictures from the event. Thanks to all who came, to the Leeds Library and Leeds Big Bookend, and Waterstones for coming and selling copies of the book.

IMG_20171109_190553

Just remember, that time of year is coming soon, and books make great gifts. Especially, I’m told, crime novels set in Leeds in the 1730s. Would I steer you wrong?

Free From All Danger 1

May You Live In Interesting Times

There appear to be some mighty things afoot. Autumn is going to be very busy. Three – yes, three! – books coming out, although the real highlight is going to be Free From All Danger, the first Richard Nottingham novel in over four years. The proofs have been completed and it’s with the printer, due out in October.

Richard and his family have always had a place deep in my heart, so it’s only right that the book launch should be a celebration. It’s going to be at the Leeds Library on Commercial Street on Thursday, November 9, at 7 pm (free, of course, but please contact them and book a place). It’s going to be an event, with a script and a specially-composed soundtrack by Chris Emmerson. There may also be some live music.

To start the ball rolling, here’s the first trailer for the book

May 2018 will see the publication of The Tin God, the sixth Tom Harper novel. My publisher said this about it: “…this latest entry continues the ongoing series themes of social change and progress, tradition vs modernisation, female emancipation, the grinding poverty and social injustice of the times, to superb effect, highlighting all too vividly the tensions caused by such rapid social change: what is highly welcome for some being anathema to others.  (Such tensions being all too evident in politics today).

 

Once again, devoted family man Tom Harper and his spirited wife Annabelle, battling passionately for the causes she believes in as an early pioneer on the long march towards women’s equality, make for thoroughly likeable lead protagonists, and the plot skips along at an impressive pace, conjuring up a compelling sense of rising tension as the election approaches.”

 

The launch event for this one will be a little different; it will be folded into an exhibition called The Vote Before The Vote at Leeds Central Library (2018, of course, marks the centenary of some women receiving the vote, although the exhibition highlights that many could vote in local elections before that. It will be curated by independent academic Vine Pemberton Joss, whose suggestion sparked the book.

 

Lastly, it looks as if Dan Markham from Dark Briggate Blues will star in a play. And a play with live jazz, at that. Nothing’s set in stone, but it seems likely to happen at Leeds Jazz Fest next July, and will mostly be a celebration of Studio 20, Leeds’ pioneering jazz club ibn the 1950s. No title yet, but the next 12 months promise to be very exciting.