Sunday, 7 April 2019

My new book. Only a few more months to go.

The first of April 2019 marked one year since I started work on my new book. It's unlike anything else I've ever published as it follows nine men, each from his boyhood to manhood; it's like nine novels in one. It's probably going to be titled The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang. I've even drafted the blurb (although that could and probably will change).

The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang. 
It was at the Point, a working class suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, in nineteen fifty-seven, that eight mildly rebellious boys, in the middle of their adolescence, and frustrated by the conservatism of their cautious elders, were attracted to the charismatic but delinquent Mickey Rooney and so joined his little gang. But later, after an especially unpleasant practical joke – a nasty trick – played by Mickey Rooney on Pearly Gates, the gang broke up. The hapless Pearly Gates was the gang’s most vulnerable member, despite his size and strength, and the others came to be utterly ashamed of their participation in his humiliation. The gang disintegrated then when each of the boys, angry with himself, with nothing in common with the others but his sex, age and place of residence, and confused, as all adolescent males are, by his inner turmoil – went his own way.
This book follows each of them into adult-hood and, for those who survived, into old age. Nine lives. Nine stories. Nine men with nothing in common but the adolescent year they wasted in Auckland’s Mickey Rooney gang.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

A new cover for 'For Viktor'

As I had to reprint 'For Viktor' I decided that it warranted a new cover. And here it is, thanks to DIY Publishing. 

About my book, For Viktor. The story of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’.

This short, entertaining book, based on fact, is written in Modest Mussorgsky’s own voice as he guides a young companion around the picture exhibition held in honour of his friend Viktor Hartman at the Academy of Artists in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1874. It was this exhibition which inspired Mussorgsky to write the suite of music he called 'Pictures at an Exhibition'.

The book is written to be read in time with the playing of the music, preferably the original piano version. While reading the text the reader will find that the duration of each section — including each of the promenades — is about the same as the musical piece it describes. Indeed, important events in the narrative often intersect with appropriate moments in the music to bring the unseen pictures to life.

It is a unique meeting of art, music and literature.

Endorsed and supported by Vladimir Ashkenazy 
Accordingly, ‘For Viktor’ has received the personal endorsement of the celebrated Russian concert pianist and conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy.

Maestro Ashkenazy is a recognised expert on Russian music. He has recorded ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ twice and has created his own orchestration of the suite which he has recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as conducting its performance with other orchestras all over the world. 

What Vladimir Ashkenazy said about For Viktor 

May 2009

Dear Mr Bolton
I read your book For Viktor. The Story of Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' with great interest and satisfaction. I think it is very important to try to bring school children to a certain level of appreciation and understanding of what great music of the great composers brings to all of us. I know of numerous examples of how children react being exposed to well presented lessons based on this kind of music and the results are absolutely astounding; apart from the fact that as they grow up they almost never abandon their affection for the serious music, they perform much better in all other subjects of their curriculum than those children who were not exposed to the same musical appreciation program. I know first hand of these examples in many countries - from the U.K. to Russia - having been a part of such programs.
I think your very well presented book on 'Pictures' could be a wonderful item in such a curriculum and I think you should endeavour in presenting it to various educational institutions in your country. I'll be delighted to be of help when needed and send you all my best wishes.


Vladimir Ashkenazy

Monday, 25 March 2019

Huge savings on my short stories

A few years ago I decided to combine my three books of short stories into one edition. More economical to print and so more economical to buy. But that meant  I stopped selling the three separate books. Now, as I'm running out of stock of the 'combined' edition, I have decided to deeply discount the three separate books. So I'm selling the three of them -- Nana's Special Day and other stories, The Dolphin and other stories, and Quickies -- more than 70 of my short stories, worth $73.50 if bought separately, for the price of one: $24.50. To order: just email me your address and I'll send you online banking instructions and your books by return post. ('While stocks last' as they say.) 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

A new edition of 'Underneath the Arclight'

My popular New Zealand novel, Underneath the Arclight is a wonderful, funny New Zealand story with a cast of delightful Kiwi characters. As a result of stocks being almost depleted I have taken the opportunity to reissue the book with a new cover. The new  cover depicts a movie projector (The Arclight is an old movie theatre), the number 5 from a film leader countdown, and the mysterious silverbeet patch which is so central to the story. 



Nothing much ever happens in Robinson Street, Blythewillow, and for Phyllis, Graham, Karen, Charlie Downs and Monkey Oldfield, and most of the other residents of the town, that's just the way they like it.

With The Arclight cinema, The Record Reign, Wake's butchers, the garden, and Monkey Oldfield's brand new chicken coop, the residents of Robinson Street have everything they need. So when Clint appears in the garden one night and tells Phyllis that it’s all about to change she doesn’t know what to think.

Within days there are changes at The Arclight, and Clint's isn't the only ghost making its presence felt. Long forgotten events from the past bring visitors from the outside world; from the city, Australia and from Los Angeles, with news, offers and veiled threats.

Are these the changes promised by Clint? And can the residents of Blythewillow save their town's bucolic charm?

Only time will tell as Karen and Graham and Jehoiada Hartsfield – the charming young city lawyer – peel back the layers of Blythewillow's forgotten history to discover Clint's secret treasure.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

A good day at the 2018 NZ Book Festival

The fifth year of the book festival was the best yet for me although I noticed some people abandoned their stalls with a couple for hours to go. Not a good look. Ended the day with Giles and Lel, from PublishMe, at De Post in Mt Eden.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Another library talk. Monday 26 November, 2018, 2.00 pm at Epsom Library.

Looking forward to another library talk at Epsom library at two o'clock on Monday 26 November.

As I find people always ask (amongst other things) 'Where do you get your ideas from?' I'm going to talk through the origin of each of my books.

 Epsom Library author talk

Sunday, 14 October 2018

The new book is progressing. Slowly.

For the record: I'm still working hard on the book I started early this year, on 1 April to be precise. I suppose I'm about a third of the way into the first draft and I do now have a tentative title. Unlike my other books -- and most other books --  my story has not one but nine 'heros'; it's like writing nine novels in one which is a bit of a challenge. I'm having to do a lot of research and it's interesting to see how very helpful some people (and institutions) are and how some simply ignore my requests for background information.