Beatrice Forbes Robertson Hale – Family Legend

My great grandmotherBeatrice Forbes Robertson Hale granddaughter of Joseph Knight FRA, daughter to Ian Forbes Robertson, niece to the great Johnston Forbes Robertson and mother to my grandmother Sanchia.  This is my family legend.  But it is not only my legend; because my great grandmother and grandmother wrote a book aptly styled with the same name.  Great names pop out of it all over the place and if you will forgive the name dropping I might hint that George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Lilly Langtry, Ellen Terry, Mrs Pat Campbell and Henry Irving all make their appearances.  Even my very own idol Oscar Wilde plays a small part of having ‘dandled’ my great grandmother on his knee.

 

The book is however about an era in which the family travailed; about a time when married #Womenwriters were denigrated for dishonoring their husbands by being published.  Why you ask?  Because if a wife brought money into the home by the work of her own hand, then the inference was the husband was too weak to do so.  With this in mind, actresses were often viewed similarly.  The great names as we know them today have been illuminated by the passing of time.  Please do not misunderstand me, they had reputation and were sought out for their company but they were not considered of good breeding! This was also the time of the suffragette movement, and Beatrice passionate about the hope that this might bring to her kindred spirits retired from acting and spoke all of United Kingdom and United States of America on the potential of women having equal voice.  She never condoned the aggressive nature of some of her peers, but spoke of the matters closer to home.  The chance to intellectually interact, to recognize that the female gender had qualities beyond dressing for occasion.  She wrote #WhatWomenWant which became compulsory educational reading.

Oscar Wilde, 1882. I would like to leave you with a few last words from Beatrice herself, never before published:

“Life seems good to me; a chance to view the great Peep-show infinitely worth while.  It is indeed difficult for me to understand why, with so much to learn and see, anyone should not be thankful for the opportunity.  I am glad to have tasted it all, and look forward to a few more years of remembering the past, watching the present and – for the future – Hope lurks always in Pandora’s box.

‘It may be that we cease; we cannot tell.

Even if we cease, life is a miracle.’

Beatrice Forbes Robertson Hale

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3565.Oscar_Wilde

http://www.amazon.com/What-Women-Want-Interpretation-Feminist/dp/B00A790F2C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377515492&sr=1-1&keywords=beatrice+forbes+robertson+-+what+women+want

http://www.stagebeauty.net/th-frames.html?http&&&www.stagebeauty.net/forbes-robertson/forbes-robertson-b.html

 

Words with an Author – Pedro Barrento – The Prince & The Singularity

Pedro staring at the Singularity

Pedro staring at the Singularity

 

The Prince and the Singularity – A Circular Tale is a take on the Creation myth, drawing from different religious and philosophical sources and mixing them in an original, challenging and often very funny way. It is written in a multi-layered format, allowing it to be read both as a simple and entertaining fable and as a deeply philosophical work, full of hidden references and satire.

It’s the story of the Prince aka the Master aka Francis, who is more or less immortal and goes through the millennia fighting Desire and Rejection, the roots of all unhappiness and evil. He always fails until the moment he loses interest and decides to die, which he doesn’t. Instead he gets promoted.

Pedro was born in Mozambique 51 years ago, attended English schools in Lisbon and pursued his education until finishing a degree in Law. When he was around 33, Pedro decided there’s more to life than being a lawyer and tried his hand at various business activities, the most successful of which was a company that produced and managed rock bands. A year ago he decided to pick up again a long-forgotten hobby of his: writing. He started with a blog, mainly dedicated to political satire. Encouraged by the feedback from the blog Pedro then decided to try his hand at a whole book, an effort which resulted in the creation of The Prince and the Singularity – A Circular Tale.

Tell us a little something about yourself as both a person and an author:

I’m a maverick, a loner and someone who loves to think about problems too complicated to ever have a solution. I also have very peculiar beliefs, as I do not believe in the existence of God but I believe in the existence of spiritual dimensions. It’s a very uncomfortable position to be in, because religious people consider me an atheist and atheists just consider me incoherent.

What made you decide to be a writer?

I always wrote short pieces, mainly about political satire, and I have a blog dedicated to that (mostly in Portuguese, though).

One of my satirical pieces, “The Euro Crisis Explained to Grannies”, has now been viewed almost 14.000 times, so I guess at least some people must like it.

I then started having ideas for longer and more complicated stories.

What made you pick this genre to write?

My book is cross genre. It’s a mix of literary fiction with shades of Pratchett humour over a New Age background. I should’ve picked a genre but unfortunately I didn’t, which makes marketing the thing an uphill struggle of Himalayan proportions.

Tell us a little about your latest book.

My idea was to write a book that would simultaneously:

a) be funny (both funny peculiar and funny ha-ha);

b) could be read as a simple story that anyone could understand and appreciate;

c) had several “hidden” layers below the basic story that different people could read differently, depending on their cultural and religious backgrounds;

d) would mix concepts from different religions and philosophies, in a thought-provoking way.

While writing the book, I toyed with the idea of creating three different self-contained stories that could be read in any order whatsoever and would make sense either individually or in connection with the other two, but that proved to be too difficult and I abandoned the concept. As a leftover of that idea, though, chapters 1 to 12 make up a self-contained story of their own.

The book is a reflection of the Great Fusion Era in which we live, where lifestyles, religions, beliefs and economic and political systems are fusing together, with the inherent social confusion and clashes between cultures.

We live in times where people feel insecure and troubled, but these are epic times, the transition between one era and the next one.

The book is a reflection of all that. It fuses concepts from different religions (which has been done before) and, more importantly, it fuses religion with atheism, an exercise most people would consider a logical impossibility.

How do you come up with your ideas?

You’re going to think I’m completely nuts, but I believe all books are already written, in some other dimension. Writers get their stories when they somehow connect to that other dimension. As no writer is capable of receiving a whole book, what happens is that they receive some parts and then fill in the missing parts with their mind. The more parts they “receive”, the better writers they are. The parts they “fill in” tend to be the weakest bits of their books.

That’s what happened with my book. I suddenly “saw” parts of the story, usually in situations where I was totally relaxed and thinking of nothing in particular, especially while swimming or driving a car.

I wrote down those parts, which came in a non-sequential way (Ch.1, Ch.2,  Ch. 12, then Ch.9, etc). The book has 27 chapters. In the end, I had big chunks of the book written down and I had some parts missing in several places in the middle. Those parts I wrote with my mind, just trying to connect what had been “received”, if you may call it that way.

I have very little hope that you’ll believe my version of how the book was written but I can assure you it’s the truth.

Also the writing process was very odd, because on top of being non-sequential, I started by writing a draft in Portuguese, then someone translated that draft into English, then I rewrote the English translation because I thought it had lost the right “feel”. Afterwards I finished writing the book in English, meaning that 30.000 words were written in Portuguese, translated, rewritten by me and then 14.500 words were added directly in English. I then had to translate the part that was written in English into my own language, which is a very odd situation.

Is there someone in particular you would like to thank for supporting you through this process?

Lynn Curtis (http://www.lynncurtis.co.uk/), my editor and literary consultant must come first and foremost. In fact, I believe that calling her a literary consultant is an offense. She is a living goddess, no less.

Teresa Frederico, the person who revised the Portuguese version is also someone who deserves a HUGE “thank you”, especially as she did it for free (well, I promised her untold riches if the book is successful). I’d also like to thank Sandro Marques for several suggestions made while I was writing the initial Portuguese draft. Fernanda Gil and Paula Soto Maior have also helped in the graphic department, with several sketches for covers which unfortunately ended up not being used.

Tell us one positive thing that has happened to you since you published your book(s).

People have finally stopped seeing me as a lawyer (which I hated) and now see me as a writer (which is a lot sexier)

Tell us one negative thing that has happened to you since you published your book(s).

I’ll tell you something that happened before I published the book.

I tested it extensively on several sites, especially on “authonomy.com” and I found out that writing a book which mixes sources from different cultures is a very delicate process. To my (probably naïve) astonishment, in the beginning, I was getting raving reviews from readers of Asian origin and very mixed reviews from American readers, which ranged from “great book” to “you’ll burn in hell”. I reached the conclusion that the “you’ll burn in hell” readers just weren’t understanding the book.

I then added a Prologue, to make the book easier to understand to readers less familiarised with some of the philosophies involved and after that I’m glad to say I’ve stopped receiving “hate mail”.

Give us your links to learn more about you and your book

The book is available both as a paper book and an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, etc., and all those sites allow you to read a sample.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Pedro+Barrento

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Pedro+Barrento

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/276675

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17348467-the-prince-and-the-singularity—a-circular-tale

Ian McEwan – Sweet Tooth

Published on 9th May 2013 this will be a cracking read for the book clubs.  It has everything you need to grip you, get you thinking and most importantly question the character’s judgement.  the blurb on the book says:

“A web of spying, subterfuge, deceit and betrayal…Acute, witty …winningly cunning”. (“Sunday Times”). The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. Britain is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism. Serena Frome, in her final year at Cambridge, is being groomed for MI5. Serena is sent on a secret mission – Operation Sweet Tooth – which brings her into the world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.

If you would like to see this one on our listings, drop us a line… let me know.

Love Lies Bleeding by Janis Hetherington

This is a true story of a child born into a Middle Class (albeit dysfunctional) family in Middle Class Home Counties England in the Middle of the last century who came to be anything but ‘Middling’. As the Child attempts to understand her Sado/Masochistic fantasies from the age of four she soon realises her lack of fear of punishment empowers her. Gradually she comes to terms with how to relish this ability and to control even those who she would wish to dominate her. Her journey, often involving Headline Stories and Old Bailey Trials gave her many names. The Countess, The Whore, The Sadistic Pervert, Lesbian Mother, Freedom Fighter, HumanRight’s Campaigner, Peace Tree Planter. They are all parts of a unique whole, encompassing four decades. Her story could have ended at sixteen after planning her expulsion from Grammar School and devirginising herself with her first female lover. It could have ended in a Parisian Sexual Fantasy Brothel a few months later with the sudden disappearance of a Body, it could have ended when she was raped by a client in a Notorious English Whorehouse or under a car when a Pimp tried to kill her for stealing his Girls. She survived to fight Court Cases brought by corrupt Police and Win, to see the Gangs controlling the London of the sixties imprisoned knowing and indeed living with part of their legal team. She understood intimately the need for Mafia money to control the Gambling Dens in Wilson’s London and the Honey traps used by the USA in Europe to ‘fight’ the Cold War paranoia of that decade of so called Free Love. There were few Pop Stars or Media Wheeler Dealers of that era who did not use premises in which she was involved. Many sharing a bed or a body previously occupied by a Sheik, Princeling or King. Or just some faded aristocrat with odd tastes in instruments of Torture. Come in and share this tale. See how it unexpectantly leads to love, childbirth by insemination and a Secret Cell of Resistance during the First Gulf War. How the Art of Brothel keeping helped release a kidnapped prisoner in Arafat’s compound in Gaza, but mostly be excited by the graphic details of a life with it’s own Rules.

Are you brave enough to introduce this book to your Book Club and talk about the twists and turns of a full life?

Satinpaperbacks.com brings you the opportunity to delve into this world for a fraction of the cost and all at a click of a button – be daring!

Ned more reviews?  See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/jun/04/britains-first-lesbian-child-artificial-insemination

http://blogs.prideangel.com/post/2013/03/Janis-Hetherington-There-are-a-lot-of-gay-families-out-there.aspx

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2304218/This-Janis-Britains-lesbian-mother-sperm-donor-baby-So-son-VERY-conventional.html

 

The Wall – William Sutcliffe

Hi there,

I was looking into a new book on www:amazon.co.uk that has come out called The Wall by William Sutcliffe, has anyone read it yet?  It’s a fascinating tale of a young boy who’s football goes over this wall.  The problem is that on the other side of that wall is a place that no one goes or never comes back from.  He climbs over the boundary wall to search for it and finds a flattened house that was once “the home of people from the other side” and, beside it, the entrance to a dark tunnel. Crawling through the tunnel, he emerges into a wholly unfamiliar world.

All well and good you might say, just another fantasy story, but no this is not the case. Although Sutcliffe doesn’t tell us that the boy, Joshua, is an Israeli or that the people on the other side of the wall are Palestinian. There are no shortage of markers to locate the knowing reader topographically or historically: the barren land and olive trees, the wall itself, with new pristine settlements on one side and crowded alleyways on the other.  Sutcliffe has set himself a challenge in writing this novel, which is “crossover” in two senses of the word – both YA and adult, aimed both at those who know and those who don’t. There are moments in the first half when he falls a little short of pulling off the feat of balancing a boy’s adventure tale – filled with chases and hiding places and journeys in the rat-filled dark – with the more introspective story of a young man coming to understand the world in which he lives. When Joshua returns home to Amarias for the first time, it’s hard – even for the adult reader – not to want the book to hurry up and send him back through the tunnel into the world of adventure again.

I find it fascinating that an author would take up such a tricky task of bringing a child through to a young man in a violent and unpredictable world. I admire him for his effort and applaud his achievement, is this something you would like to see soon?  Leave me a post and let me know what you think..?