Thursday, 14 May 2015

'Lost on Mars' is published today!

Morning, everyone! My new novel, 'Lost on Mars' comes out this week in paperback and kindle (no audiobook yet, though!) It needs all your support - please go out and order and buy it and read it and pass it on and talk about it and please do write reviews anywhere you can! All these things are so important to getting a book out there.
I really hope you enjoy this Martian epic. It's a story I've been wanting to write for years and Firefly have been brilliant in guiding it through all the stages to publication this week (and it's not easy for a small, indie press!)
This morning I've been painting moments from the story, mostly for thank you gifts - but also to share here, to get you into the mood for reading my new book. Thanks for all your support, everyone! I might not be the biggest selling writer, but I've got what must be the most loyal and wonderful readers!

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Some pictures of Chorlton and the Northern Quarter in Manchester

Chorlton Baths and Unicorn Grocery

Thomas Street, the Northern Quarter

Chorlton Library

Oldham Street, the Northern Quarter.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Selling Original Artwork

Ever since I started regularly posting my drawings at the beginning of the year, people have asked whether I'm planning to sell the originals, or take on commissions. So far I've just been pleasing myself with what I draw - everything that's close to home, views of people and places in Levenshulme, and drawings of our cat, Bernard Socks, for example. Then, I've been doing lots of city centre landmarks, such as views of Canal Street and places like Afflecks. I've kept all the originals to myself up till now... 

But this week I've decided that - as well as doing cards and prints - I'm going to start selling original artwork. I'm going to start doing commissions. You can tell me what to draw! Places, people, old photos, buildings, landscapes, landmarks, locations, shops, businesses, exteriors, interiors, cats and dogs and imaginary stuff...!

Drop me a line!  pmagrs@gmail

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Reading Funk

Just read a post by the clever Jenna Burtenshaw in which she uses the phrase 'Reading Funk', and wonders which book might jolt her out of it. It's such a great phrase for that very moment - familiar to all obsessive readers - of being cheesed off and not knowing where to turn in a world of too many bookish options. There's so much out there - but nothing seems like exactly the *right* thing just now...
I've had this countless times in my reading life. I've never thought my reading stamina was all that great, in fact, despite the amount I *do* read. I have to be *thrilled* by what I'm reading more or less most of the time and if i'm not and it starts to feel like a chore - then me and that book have to have a quiet word.
The worst bad patch I remember was spring 2004 and I had a run of duff reads. It was A L Kennedy (bless her - I'm sure she's good really) who made me fling a book across the room (it was so exhaustively, endlessly, comprehensively miserable) and give up. And I stopped reading for three weeks. The thought I was left with was - 'What's the point? It's just prying into other's people's upsets, fetishes and peculiar thoughts.' Never before had I felt that as strongly. And, three weeks later, it was being in Deansgate Waterstones and picking up the newly-published 'Shadow of the Wind' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon that bust me out of that funk. I took it off to Atlas bar's blue terrace by the railway arches and read - enthralled in a good old mystery - for a whole, sunny afternoon. It was a huge lesson in reading, in giving yourself up to a book, and in learning about how I really needed to mix up the genres I was reading and always take the litfic with a good pinch of pulp. Also, zigzag from genre to genre with each change of book.
You must have had the Reading Funk before. Which book got you out?