Sunday, December 04, 2016


Sangria Exists....

My new book has existed for the past two months but only now that I have copies do I feel I can regard it as published. Sangria in the Sangraal was originally published in Romania by Ex Occidente in a deluxe limited edition back in 2011. For this new edition I have added two extra stories to make a linked sequence of twelve tales chronicling a fantasical version of the history of the tiny and remote city of Albarracín over many thousand years of history.

I am delighted with the way the book has turned out and the treatment given to it by the publisher of this updated and expanded second edition. David Rix of Eibonvale Press is an exceptional book designer. His covers are unique, striking and aesthetically pleasing. One of the best covers he has ever designed (in my view) is for Allen Ashley's The Planet Suite. Almost as great is his cover for Andrew Hook's Human Maps.

Both of these writers attended the event in London last Friday night where Sangria was launched. Allen I have met several times before; this was the first time I had met Andrew, but I am trying to turn him into a Brautigan fan and it seems to be working. It was also great to meet my friend Valeria Vitale at the event, a person who seems to share at least some of my literary tastes (it is surprisingly difficult to find such people).

I am really awkward at these informal literary events where there are no readings, no panels and no question and answer sessions, just people milling around and chatting. I always find it difficult when people ask me, "Are you a writer?" The substantial part of my character that is modest and polite wants to answer, "In the shade of giants like Tolstoy, Proust, Kafka, Cervantes, I haven't earned the right to call myself a writer, so by any realistic yardstick I am not." And at the same time, the part of my character that is imperious and hubristic wants to answer, "Aren't you aware of my genius?!" The conflict between these two equal but opposite forces usually has me shrugging my shoulders and mumbling shyly, "Oh, sort of!"

Sangria in the Sangraal is available from various places, including directly from the publisher, but people seem to prefer ordering from Amazon. Therefore I can link to it at Amazon UK here and also Amazon US here. The book is available as a hardback and also as a paperback, and there will be a Kindle edition in the new year (if not sooner).

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