Of Podcasts And Old Leeds And Going To Farsley

This week, I’m afraid, I have a few links for you, along with a promise of an upcoming excerpt from The Blood Covenant, which comes out at the end of December. That will be next week.

But the links, well, there’s a lot of meat there. A little while ago the Leeds Library, Britain’s oldest subscription library, founded in 1768, interviewed me. It covers music, music journalism, researching history and Leeds in general. Very wide-ranging, and I bare all. Well, maybe. And you can find it right here.

As many of you may know, I love Leeds. Yeah, it’s not really a secret, is it? A couple of people say I bleed Leeds, or that if you open me up, it’s written through me, like a stick of Blackpool rock. A website posed me the interesting question, to name my five favourite books on old Leeds. It took plenty of thought, but I did come up with them. It’s right here, with my brief explanations.

Next week, November 4th, I’ll be appearing at the Constitutional in Farsley with the lovely Frances Brody, in an event put on by an excellent new indie bookshop, Truman Books. If you can, I hope you’ll come. Read about it here.

Finally, since I’m all links today, this is the cheapest place to pre-order The Blood Covenant (or Brass Lives), with free UK postage. And for the Kindle, click here.

Leeds Stories On Film

The wonderful people at Made in Leeds TV asked me to read some of the stories from Leeds, The Biography: A History of Leeds in Short Stories. The original plan was to record them at appropriate locations around Leeds, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate.

In the end, that was our good fortune as we ended up filming at the Leeds Library, a wonderful place with a history that goes back to 1768, and has been in the same location since 1808. We recorded in the ‘New Room,’ which dates from 1880, and looks splendid.

We taped me reading four stories. These are three of them. If you want to waste a few minutes – enjoy! And if you feel inclined to buy a copy of the book….thank you.

Talking Book(s)

A few weeks ago, Made in Leeds TV took me into the wonderful Leeds Library to interview me about the upcoming collection Leeds, The Biography: A History of Leeds in Short Stories, and also read some of the stories.

This is the interview – and you get to see part of the interior of a glorious place. The downside is you get me, too…

The Book Launch

Thank you so much to everyone who came to the launch for Gods of Gold last night, and those who couldn’t make it but were there in spirit. It was held at the Leeds Library, the oldest subscription library in Britain, founded in 1768 and in the same location since 1808. I was in the ‘new room,’ which only dates from 1880…

I’m grateful to the staff there for their work, and for having me as a guest. They also had the Yorkshire Weekly News from July 1890 on display, with a very long (and wonderfully biased) story about the Gas Strike that forms the backdrop to Gods of Gold (hint: they weren’t happy that the workers won).


There was wine (of course) and two people brought homemade cake, which was delicious. The only downside was that those sitting there had to listen to me wittering on.

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On the upside, there was time to mingle. I got to meet old friends and new, including my MP, Fabian Hamilton, and a wonderful woman of 93, very spry and alert, who was able to tell me about Kirkgate and Bell’s Pharmacy in the 1920s and 1930s. I feel incredibly privileged to have had everyone come out for me and this book.

Thanks, too, to Radish Books for taking care of the book sales. I was astonished when the pile was devoured by customers in seconds (even my own copy vanished, but thankfully someone returned it). It’s a pretty magical feeling when someone ask you to sign a book for them. Events like last night make all the hard work of writing worthwhile. And even more grateful to everyone at Severn House for their belief in my work.


Thank you all.