Another delve into the archives. Lovers’ Lies was published in January 2013, but with the intention of hitting the Valentine’s day market. It didn’t quite meet the cloying chocolate ‘n’ roses standard, and more than one potential punter jibbed at the ‘lies’ element of the title. ‘I can’t buy something called that for my girlfriend’… Well. Quite.
Be that as it may, Lovers’ Lies celebrates love in its wildest and weirdest moments. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always charming, it certainly isn’t always for the young, the heterosexual, the … human.
Here are some videos of readings from the launch at Keats House. If you’ve had a surfeit of sweetness, maybe this is the book for you – as we said on the cover, for cynical romantics, and romantic cynics.
With the 5th Anniversary celebrations heading into view I was thinking about the thank you speech, and like the Oscars it is in danger of going on, and on. And on. So I thought I’d blog it instead, a section at a time. So I’ve been catching up with authors past and present in the course of the fifth anniversary planning to ask what they are up to now, (not that I don’t know in some cases) because after all, without them there would BE no Arachne Press.
Several of them will be at the party, TOMORROW and even reading, come along and say hello, it’s free (but ticketed)
Alison Willis Bartle Sawbridge Since Lovers Lies was published I have read from it in a packed room at Keats’ House, a literary festival in Faversham, and lots else in between. I self-published my first novel, A Piece of String two years ago, (look at the excellent reviews on Amazon, and buy it!) and I’m making good progress on its sequel, based not in inner London but in a fictional village in Middle England.
Bobbie Darbyshire Since Lovers’ Lies came out, Bobbie Darbyshire’s third novel, OZ, was published in 2014 and has received much praise on Amazon. She has completed a fourth, Thinner Than Water, and embarked on a fifth.
Catherine Sharpe Cherry Potts Running Arachne gets in the way of much writing, but I’ve managed to squeeze a story into most of the anthologies, and publish a collection and a novel, and had several stories published elsewhere.
Tania Hershman I’ve published four new books since 2013 – I’m co-author, with Courttia Newland, of Writing Short Stories: A Writers and Artists Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014), my first poetry pamphlet, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open (Southword, 2016), won 2nd prize in the Fool For Poetry chapbook contest and was published in February 2016, and in 2017 my third short story collection, Some of Us Glow More Than Others (Unthank Books) and my debut poetry collection, Terms and Conditions (Nine Arches Press), were published. I founded ShortStops, a hub for all things short story in the UK and Ireland in November 2013, and I am now on the last leg of a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics, and am a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at Manchester University. www.taniahershman.com
Tom Conoboy It’s been a busy couple of years writing-wise for me. I completed my PhD after five years and I was free to get back to my own writing. What a release that is! The joy of writing! I’ve completed one novel, the story of a young American girl who arrives in Scotland in 1985 in search of the key to her identity and I’ve just finished the first draft of my second novel, based on a real life murder in Perth in 1935.
As part of the run up to our celebration of our fifth anniversary we are highlighting our first five books, all available for £5 each from our shop
Also available to bona fide libraries and book charities free please contact us to enquire.
Number Three: Lovers’ Lies
Designed expressly for romantic cynics and cynical romantics. Liars’ League teamed up with Arachne Press for a second outing bringing the freshness, wit, imagination and passion of their authors to a wider audience.
Join us as we wallow in the many facets of relationships. Explore role-play gone wrong, goldfish that eat loneliness, and a very literal leap into the unknown. Old love, cold love, true love, new love, dead love, we’re through love – making babies and making whoopee, disappointment and contentment, playing at home, playing away or just playing; missed chances and new romances: everything from first conversation to last breath, strange journeys and stranger destinations.
Be careful who catches you reading it – your intentions might be misinterpreted.
… the anthology isn’t slavishly devoted to its theme; it has the freedom to take off on tangents and flights of fancy. Love is treated as a springboard rather than an anchor to hold the anthology in place.
The final, redemptive twist of Jason Jackson’s ‘A Time and Place Unknown’, the last, sci-fi, entry in Lovers’ Lies, leaves the anthology with a final note of optimism. It ends by letting us believe that love is a force for good and that it can overcome time, space and perhaps even death itself.
Over the course of its 138 pages Lovers’ Lies shows both the darker side of love and the way it brings out the best in us. If that was the intention of the Arachne Press editors, then they’ve done a fine job.
eating cake at the meet the author event at Daunts Hampstead
Lop-sided Liars’ Cake
When we were looking for somewhere to launch this, we said we need the most romantic place in London… what about Keats House? Oh, they’ll never let us… but they did!
Speaking of designs, the cover (by Annie Rickard Straus) was the result of a massive competition with public and authors voting – they didn’t agree, so the authors won.
We have a great fondness for LGBT history month at Arachne Press, and we are also exceptionally fond of libraries. As a result the combination definitely works!
Our last outing for February was to Richmond lending library, one of the oldest public libraries in London (lovely building, glass roof, unfortunately on the flight path for Heathrow…)
Here are some readings from that evening, mainly from Cherry Potts, but with assistance from Alix Adams on the first one. The sound isn’t wonderful (those planes…) but it’s better than what we managed on the video camera.
In order of appearance:
Arachne’s Daughters from Mosaic of Air (Cherry Potts)
Death & Other Rituals from Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time (Tannith Perry)
A Place of Departures from Stations (Cherry Potts)
The Other Side of Sleep from the anthology of the same name (Kate Foley)
Tasting Flight from Lovers’ Lies (Catherine Sharpe)
Just a quick link to John’s pictures on Facebook for last night’s triumphant celebration of our award, (Have I mentioned the award?) as part of BrockleyMax, at Misty Moon Gallery.
Thanks to the wonderful Carrie Cohen, Sarah Feathers, Sean Patterson, Lisa Rose, Tony Bell and Silas Hawkins, who did our Weird and Lovers’ stories proud. Thanks to Stuart & Jen for hosting. Video of the event up soon.The sharp-eyed will spot some pictures that aren’t people – that’s the trailer for Devilskein & Dearlove which we previewed last night, it went down very well!
I’m going to be spending the morning editing all references to the lovely Weird Lies on the website to AWARD WINNING Weird Lies, because, ladies, gentleman and aliens… WE WON!!
Our award, and the one won by our dear friends Liars’ League snuggle up for a proud photo.A Big thank you to Sabotage Reviews for their brilliant organisation and for their reviews, and for putting on the awards in the first place.
So what does it all mean, apart from the warm glow and the little star thingy and the aforementioned editing of the website?
It means that a lot of people like what we do – the award is by public vote (THANK YOU everyone who nominated and voted for us, you are lovely, lovely people).
It might mean it’s easier to get books into bookshops, and sold – you might think that creativity is its own reward, but we all need to eat.
It might mean we get more gigs for our readings – speaking of – TONIGHT you can hear lovely Liars’ League actors Tony Bell, Silas Hawkins, Carrie Cohen, Sean Patterson, Lisa Rose and Sarah Feathers reading from AWARD WINNING* Weird Lies, and it’s equally terrific stable fellow, Lovers’ Lies, at Misty Moon, where we will also be PREVIEWING the animated trailer (by upcoming animator Nick Page) for our next book, Devilskein & Dearlove. I will say nothing more, other than it’s ACE (Misty Moon aficionados, yes that is what I mean.)
(* wondering how long it will take to get bored with typing that)
It was an excellent event, which kept the energy going all afternoon and all evening, with live readings from all sorts of poets and authors, including London Lies author and Oxford local, Emily Cleaver.
A BIG thank you to everyone I forgot to thank last night, I hadn’t written a speech, so it was very off the cuff.
And a very big thank you to all the writers, in AWARD WINNING Weird Lies and all the other books, you are all brilliant.
And an especially big thank you to Alix, who turns out for almost every live event and does front-of-house so brilliantly. For someone who said she didn’t want to be involved, she does an epic amount, and it wouldn’t happen without her.