Live or study in E7? Get yourself to the Gate Library at 11am on Thursday 22nd January to meet Mr Devilskein impersonator, Greg Page, watch the trailer and catch author Alex Smith answering questions on video, and buy a book! Got a Question about writing the book? You have until the end of today to ask via twitter @Devilskein or @Africa_Alex or by our page here. School Parties actively encouraged, ideal for 10-14 year olds, enjoyed by 9-900 year olds.
Moody, teenage clever clogs Erin meets her match in the magical but malignant Devilskein. At first I thought they deserved each other. Our author’s upfront revelations of Devilskein’s fantastical powers and horrific motivation and the more gradual revelations as to why Erin lies about her past change this.
Amid the caustic wit and at times frantic action, Erin grows to understand the upsides and downsides of having a vivid imagination and about friendships both real and contrived via the vivid worlds opened by the right keys. The only thing that grated was the heavy-handed use of brackets (although I do exactly the same myself).
All praise to Arachne Press and the Carnegie Award judges for unearthing this South African diamond. Alex Smith’s novel pays homage to other classic and contemporary writers whilst being unique in its own right.
Brentwood Theatre 15 Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8AG (in partnership with Chicken & Frog Bookshop)
Wednesday 21st January 2015 13:30, with Greg Page (who voices Mr Devilskein on our animated trailer) reading. We will show the trailer, together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) and Cherry Potts, Arachne Press owner will talk a little about publishing.
£10 including a copy of the book
The Gate Library 6-8 Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, London E7 0QH
Thursday22nd January 2015, 11am with Greg Page taking the reader’s role. We will show the trailer, together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) Free.
Lewisham Library, 199-201 Lewisham High Street SE13 6LG
Thursday 5th February 2015 8pm with Peter Noble reading. Free.
Ask Alex some questions about writing, Devilskein & Dearlove, or secret gardens…
We have actors to read because author Alex Smith is in South Africa. We have tried doing live video link-ups but there are too many variables, and it tends not to work, so we are doing some filming in advance, and we need your questions!
If you are coming to any of these events (or even if you aren’t) and would like to ask Alex a question, please use the form below, or tweet us at @Devilskein, BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Then Alex will record her answers and we can play them at the events, and put the video up on the website afterwards. (At the moment this will only happen at Brentwood Theatre, but we will see whether the libraries have the facilities to do the same.)
I had a phone call today to tell me that Devilskein & Dearlove is one of 100 books to be
Alix Adams, long-term supporter of Arachne Press, put her reading glasses on and stepped in to the breach for two readings of Devilskein & Dearlove, our magnificent Young Adult novel by Alex Smith, first at Rochester Literature Festival and then at Albion Beatnik in Oxford.
Alix is a past mistress of ‘reading in voices’, although a Cape Town accent is beyond her, and spent many hours when I first met her, reading to me while I washed up – it’s the only way she could get me to do it! It’s good to be able to share her talents with the rest of the world. (We have a dishwasher now.)
Malini Stevenson recently read a section from Devilskein & Dearlove to a wrapt audience of (mostly) 11 year-olds and a couple of adults, at two events in South West London. Interesting questions were asked about having a bad-tempered, rude heroine; tattoos, crickets who speak Pashto, and comparisons made to Alice in Wonderland (all those locked doors). We couldn’t get a connection to South Africa, so instead of talking to Alex, we showed the animation. Not for the first time, we were asked whether there would be a full length film. Wouldn’t that be great?
Thanks to Andrea (Balham) and Heather (Tooting) for hosting us.
Malini Stevenson is reading from Devilskein & Dearlove Alex Smith‘s amazing reboot of The Secret Garden, set in Cape Town and featuring Demons, hidden gardens, a cricket who used to be a Chinese ambassador, and Erin Dearlove, possibly the grumpiest heroine in literature… but not without cause…
Catch the readings of the wildest young adult novel of the season at the following times and places:
Thursday 7th August
Balham Library 16 Ramsden Road SW12 8QY at 2:30
Tooting Library 75 Mitcham Road SW17 9PD at 4:30
Opportunity to buy (signed) copies of the book, and depending on the library’s policy (not checked yet – a job for Monday) we might be offering fresh baked scones…
So: It’s publication day! Here’s Malini Stevenson reading a section at last night’s launch, at The Story Sessions. we tried to get author Alex Smith on Skype from South Africa, but the line was very unreliable, so those odd noises in the background are the computer constantly dropping out and redialing, sorry!
To celebrate you can: watch this video, or the trailer, or read interviews and Q&A’s with Alex here, here and here, or listen to Cherry Potts talking about the book on Croydon Radio, or come along to one of the other readings …and, of course, you could BUY a copy, either direct from us, or from your favourite local bookshop! Oh, and we’re doing a giveaway on goodreads, but you need to be quick, it’s only til 31st July.
Aimed at 12-16 year-olds but enjoyed by anyone from the age of 9-900!
A wide ranging discussion of Devilskein & Dearlove, and children’s books in general over the last 100 years, the invention of Childhood and all sorts!
The group is public so anyone can join, read and comment. You can always ask more questions, which Alex will answer if & when she notices them! (We get an email when someone posts, so should be able to prompt if necessary).
If we can get the technology to work, Alex will be live on skype from Cape Town tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd) at The Story Sessions, at the Cafe of Good Hope 216 Hither Green Lane, SE13 6RT. Doors 7pm. £3.
Devilskein & Dearlove is after the interval – so you can grab the mic and ask her something ‘face to face’ (ear to ear??). If we don’t manage that, you can at least listen to a section being read by the lovely Malini Stevenson, and catch up with our other readers and authors present in person. You can even join in with your own YA influenced 100 word ‘Flash From The Floor’.
If you have a GoodReads account, join us on Monday 21st July at 7pm for live Q&A with Alex Smith, you can join the group now, and leave questions about Alex’s writing and Devilskein & Dearlove in particular, as soon as you like. If you aren’t already on GoodReads it’s very simple to join, you can sign in via Facebook or twitter. We are also running a giveaway (UK only) on GoodReads from 21st July to the end of the month to celebrate publication of Devilskein & Dearlove on 24th July – see below.
And you can hear a section of the book read at this month’s The Story Sessions.