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In the dark with Gavin Turner

Hi All,

Welcome to the second of my newsletters about the stuff I’m writing and reading at the moment. I will be trying to get these out on a fairly regular basis, but only when I have something to share with you all. As you know the fickle nature of the publishing industry means that, like everyone else, the publication offers might not come, I could be strangled by writers block, who knows? I’m feeling really positive about 2023 though and lots of potentially exciting projects to come this year. Last year was great for me, plenty of publication acceptances and more importantly met some really cool people. The highlight has to be the publication of my first chapbook The Round Journey, which was released with Alien Buddha press in May 2022.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Round-Journey-Gavin-Turner/dp/B09YQK3F4F/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2UEYUG4RCUQSX&keywords=gavin+turner&qid=1651846657&sprefix=gavin+turner%2Caps%2C82&sr=8-1

A little piece of twine

I created my first twine story late last year. If you aren’t familiar with the twine concept it is a basic computer program that enables a kind of ‘choose your own adventure’ approach to the narrative. This piece is called ‘Patio Friends’ and was really fun to write. I was so pleased to see this published with the rather excellent Voidspace zine alongside some other really interesting pieces. Why not have an explore?

https://voidspacezine.com/patio-friends/

The Agenda – short story – published with JAKE

This short story was published towards the end of last year but I failed to mention this on my last newsletter. If you enjoy a little meta fiction then this may well be up your street. Terrance arrives late for a team meeting, things take a really strange turn after that. Many thanks to JAKE for publishing this short piece

https://jakethemag.com/the-agenda/

Future publications

Poetry

I have a new poem out with Boats against the current towards the end of February – would love to hear your feedback on this piece!

Fiction

As mentioned in my last newsletter I also have a short collaborative piece I created alongside Kellie Scott-Reed, part of the editing team at Roi Faineant press. It’s a really fun piece and I’m really looking forward to the reaction to this – no more details for now, I’ve said enough!

Plans for 2023

I always have a lot of projects going on at any given time. The main focus for me this year is to release a new book of poetry. The main difference this time is that I am planning on publishing this myself. I understand that a lot of people have mixed views about publishing their own work. I held those views too up until recently. The traditional publishing route does hold a certain kudos amongst many writers and I totally get it. I think the distinction for me at this point is that I am not in a position where I am doing this because it is not possible for me to get this published elsewhere eventually. I believe that I would. Amongst the rejections I received last year there were a number of successes too. If you think about it, most of the time when you say I have written a book, and you can buy it either in a shop or through Amazon, the typical questions are along the lines of asking what it is about (I know that’s often a tough one), what inspired you to write it etc. I don’t think anyone outside the industry ever said ‘OK, and who is your publisher/ agent? It just isn’t important to them. I think the important thing is about your own belief in what you produce.

For me, as someone who is always interested in developing new skills and learning from my experiences, I see this as an opportunity to improve my skills as a writer, creator, marketer, you name it. There is so much work that goes into creating a new book and whilst I hate the cliched phrase, the release of a new book is a journey (I’m cringing at the phrase as well don’t worry) and it is the steps along the way that I am excited about. Much more to follow on this as I take this book to press. I can say that this will have more content, some of which has been published before but a great deal of new poetry not seen before. I will share some posts over the coming months on my experience of each element, including choosing content, where to publish, marketing, book covers etc.

Reading material

Like a lot of writers there is really only one thing that I want for Christmas – more books. I was able to get my hands on some classics this year. A Confederacy of Dunces, Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy and also the Wasp Factory by Iain Banks which is a fascinating read.

On the socials

Twitter

Most people who use Twitter recently will have seen some changes to the way it operates. I have noticed that some of the people I interacted with the most seem to have disappeared so I have to go into their account directly to see what they have been up to. It is annoying but to reassure this is still the best way to get in touch with me. If you are on there why not follow or send me a message @gtpoems

Facebook

I have a specific page on Facebook if that’s where you hang out. You can find me at Gavin Turner Author if you fancy giving me a follow!

So definitely more news to follow. I am really excited to see what this year brings and it would be great to hear what you are up to as well. Send me a message and share your plans – who knows where we could be this time next year – probably in the dark somewhere!

about, book, haiku, poems, poetry, Uncategorized, writing

FREE HAIKU BOOK – TRIPLICATED

Hi All

Hope you are enjoying the Winter season! Thought I would share with you that I have just upgraded my free E Book, TRIPLICATED which is now available on this site. Follow the link here and you should be able to download the whole thing. Hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

https://gtpoems.com/triplicated/ 

book, featured, fiction, funny, writing

The Funniest book you have ever read

I recently put a hopeful question out there for a Twitter response. I hear you, why put a question out into a void that no longer exists due to a recent and somewhat controversial take over?. Well, contrary to popular belief there are still a significant number of us using the little blue bird page regularly. Lots of writers in particular have build up a following over a number of years and are not ready as yet to chuck the bird out with the bath water.

The question was this:

What is the funniest book you have ever read?

Frankly I was amazed by the response and it threw up some interesting stuff. There were books that were overwhelmingly popular and some of those tantalising new on the radar type books. So maybe some of these below will be familiar to you, maybe not. If you like to snort uncontrollably on the train or spit your coffee out when reading, maybe take a punt on some of the highly recommended books below.

The popular ones

There were two or three books that were overwhelmingly popular

A confederacy of dunces – John Kennedy Toole

Confederacy of dunces cover.jpg

This was overwhelmingly the most popular on the list, certainly amongst the twitter responses. I have this on order for Christmas.

Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy – Douglas Adams

H2G2 UK front cover.jpg

The hapless Arthur Dent careering round the galaxy, very popular and consistently a very funny book. If you haven’t read it already, go pick it up, you never know, the next Arthur Dent might be you. Also further advice was as often is the case, read the book, don’t watch the film!

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

Catch22.jpg

Confession here, lots of people love this book, I’ll be honest, couldn’t seem to get past the first couple of chapters. Humour is something really unique to the individual I think, what makes you laugh might leave me cold and vice versa. Perhaps it’s time for me to give this one another go.

Don Quixote – Cervantes

Title page first edition Don Quijote.jpg

There are many comparisons between Cervantes Don Quixote and Ignatius Jacques Reilly (see the earlier confederacy of dunces recommendation) in terms of the characteristic style. Both are eccentric and delusional. Is there something about this character style that tickles the funny bone?

Interesting to me that many of the really truly funny books in most people’s opinion are, let’s say, classics. Certainly in the sense that they were not first published recently. A confederacy for example was published in 1980, posthumously (sadly) winning the Pulitzer in 1981.

Special mention – PG Wodehouse

There were so many references to Wodehouse. Lots of mentions of a whole range of his canon. Obviously Bertie Wooster was perhaps one of his most enduring characters. People seem to appreciate the care and attention that Wodehouse takes to make each sentence deliver with real vigour.

Following on from this was a whole range of literature. It was interesting that different genres were still able to sit high on the list as works of humour. Bill Bryson’s travel text ‘A walk in the woods’ for example. Sue Townsend’s fictional diary of a teenage boy in the Midlands is as hilarious now as it was on release. I have included a whole reading list below of these and other recommendations. With Christmas round the corner, the season of good cheer, why not get one of these in your stocking and you can be spraying mince pies and Gluhwein all over the family from your little reading nook.

The best of the rest

A walk in the woods – Bill Bryson

Consider the lobster – David Foster Wallace

Dress your family in Corduroy and Denim – David Sedaris

About a boy – Nick Hornby

Dear Committee members – Julie Schumacher

Wilt – Tom Sharpe

The Fan Man – William Kotzwinkle

Cats Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut

Travels with a donkey in the Cevennes – Robert Louis Stevenson

Norwood – Charles Portis

The Hawkline Monster – Richard Brautigan

Happiness – Will Ferguson

Dona Flor and her two husbands – Jorge Amado

Fight night – Miriam Toews

Seven nights at the Flaming hotel – Drew Gummerson

Lake of Urine – Guillermo Stitch

My life and hard times – James Thurber

The White house mess – Christopher Buckley

Notes from the Underground – Dostoyevski

Heart of a dog – Bulgakov

The secret diary of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend

Did your favourite not hit the list? why not add a comment and share your favourite funny fiction. After all, laughter is the best medicine apparently!

about, book, featured, haiku, news, poems, poetry

Triplicated – A Haiku book

Hi All,

I have been working on some ways to reorganise the work I have done over the past year or so and noticed that some of the posts, especially the Haikus had some similar themes. I then thought, hey, why not put them into a little book for my followers to read for FREE!!. Call it an early Christmas present. It does not come with a receipt though so you can’t return it I’m afraid!

You may have heard the phrase ‘It comes in threes’ and that definitely applies to this book. Each poem is a set of three Haikus, with a linked theme. They are funny, poignant and thought provoking. Would love to have some comments on this

The book is called Triplicated and I have made it available as a separate page on the website here

https://gtpoems.com/triplicated/

Hope you enjoy the book, and please leave a comment!