Friday, 25 September 2020

One of the benefits of the Covid lockdown: my new book.

Writers can usually only dream of being able to lock themselves away to work uninterrupted by the 'real world'.  But my dream came true over the lockdown period. I started my new book on May 1 and it's finished.

It's called: 

Jacko. One Bloke. One Year.  

Here's the cover blurb: 

Jackson Fearnsby’s fiftieth year began badly, ended better, and was in between punctuated by a series of seasonal events and anniversaries shared with his friends and family. Set in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1950, this story follows the life of an ordinary man in an ordinary job living an ordinary life with his ordinary family in an ordinary city — then no more than a large town — while struggling with the doubts and anxieties which came with middle-age to an already troubled mind.

It's with readers now, the cover's being designed, so I should have it up on Kindle by the end of October and paperbacks available to New Zealand readers by the middle of November.  Email me now to reserve an early copy. 

Monday, 24 February 2020

'The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang' is here.

‘Bolton’s new book lifts the dark lid off Auckland’s past in a brilliant, clever read. Loved it.’
Sir Bob Harvey
The Kindle version's been available for a couple of weeks and now, at last, the first printed copies have arrived at my studio and are available for sale. 
Only $34.50 
You can order your copy online from my website or email me and pay with online banking.  

Thursday, 30 January 2020

First reactions are in for my new book. And they're brilliant.

Two important and discerning early readers have posted brilliant reviews of my new book, The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang. 

'To understand the shape of the real Auckland of the 50s this is a truly great reveal. Loved it.'
Sir Bob Harvey

'I loved this book. Superbly drawn characters and a clever, interwoven plot make for compulsive reading with a few shocking surprises. Ten out of ten. But not for the faint-hearted.' 
Lel Scott, Director, PublishMe self-publishing.

The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang is available now from Kindle. Or you can order your paperback version from my website for delivery late February.    

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

NEW. 'The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang'. KIndle version available NOW

I started it on 1 April, 2018. Now, after nearly two years work, my new book is finished. It's called The Boys and Men of Auckland's Mickey Rooney Gang and it's like nothing I've ever written before. It's off to the printer now and will soon be available from my website. Meanwhile the very affordable Kindle version is available now
Here's the cover and the back cover blurb: 
In a working-class suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, in 1957, eight mildly rebellious schoolboys, inevitably obsessed with sex, were attracted to the arrogant and thoroughly delinquent little Mickey Rooney whose fantastic dreams of Hollywood fame were to be his downfall.

It wasn’t a real gang, and it didn’t last long. It disintegrated after an obscene practical joke played by Mickey on the gang’s most vulnerable member. Meanwhile, though, the boys’ thoughts, conversations and actions, which were largely crude and obscene – as the thoughts, conversations and actions of boys and men often are – are faithfully reported here in plain and graphic language.

The book then follows the boys into manhood. Nine men. Nine lives involving love and romance, sadness and joy, success and failure, illness and death, drugs and vice, violence and crime, and murder.

Nine men with nothing in common but the teenage year they wasted in Mickey Rooney’s gang. 


Wednesday, 4 September 2019

My short story collection now available on Kindle

Until now my short stories have been available only in paperback and only in New Zealand as the cost of posting such a 'fat' book internationally is more than the the cost of the book itself. But now I've put all my short stories -- more than seventy of them -- together in one Kindle file which can be downloaded (from here) to any Kindle, phone, tablet or computer in the world for only $US3.99
More than seventy of my  short stories in one Kindle file for only $US3.99

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Read what Vladimir Ashkenazy said about 'For Viktor'. Now available from Kindle.

It's taken a while -- I wanted to wait until the new cover was ready -- but For Viktor is now available from Kindle.

Maestro Ashkenazy is an acknowledged expert on Russian music. He has recorded Mussorgsky's 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. 
Here's what he said about For Viktor.    

What Vladimir Ashkenazy said about ‘For Viktor’

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

About For Viktor

Based on fact, and historically accurate, For Viktor 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 or delivered in time with the playing of the music. 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 indeed a unique meeting of art, music and literature.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

My new book is FINISHED

For the record my new novel (107,000+ words) is finished. 
It's called The Boys and Men of Mickey Rooney's Gang and it's completely different from any of my other 'nice' books. 
Unlike them it contains a lot of sex and violence. But, I have to add quickly, all for legitimate literary purposes. 
It follows nine teenage boys into adulthood; and how can one talk about nine teenage boys struggling with adolescence without recording their sex-obsessed thoughts, language and activities? And how can one describe the lives of nine men without recording the weaknesses and flaws of their male character. 
Next step: submission to publishers. That could take a while.  

Here's the revised cover blurb: 
It was at the Point, a working class suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, in nineteen fifty-seven, that eight mildly rebellious adolescent boys, naturally obsessed with sex and frustrated by the conservatism of their cautious elders, were attracted to the charismatic but thoroughly delinquent Mickey Rooney whose fantastic dreams of Hollywood fame and fortune were to be his downfall. The little gang didn’t last long; it disintegrated after a cruel practical joke played by little Mickey Rooney on big Pearly Gates. Despite his size and strength, the hapless Pearly Gates was the gang’s most vulnerable member and the others came to regret their contribution to his humiliation. As a result each of the boys – annoyed 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 testosterone-based turmoil – then went his own way.
This book follows each of them into adulthood and, for those who survived, into old age. Nine lives Nine stories. In New Zealand, Australia, America and around the world. Nine men with nothing in common but the teenage year they wasted in Mickey Rooney’s gang.