A middle-aged but forgotten author of elite fiction watches a film adaptation of his first book and is immediately enraptured by the young actor in the leading role. Captivated and, increasingly, consumed: he discovers more about the person, his life, finds old photographs, kisses them - and more. Eventually, his mania takes him to a meeting and a pathetically awful denouement.
Everything Could Be So Perfect is an engaging study of an obsession.
A Work in Progress.
Before he is rewarded with the calm he craves, he is forced to endure the relative evils of life. After decades spent in what many called 'the spotlight' James withdrew from acting and turned towards a quieter, more contemplative, more settled way of life. He both dreaded and yearned for a change from the preceding numerous years of 'continual motion'. Seeking a place of his own, he found it in a secluded house in London surrounded by trees, a garden and numerous rooms where he would sit, with his thoughts and wait.
During this period James would write eloquently of the struggles he faced – the changing face of the house and the garden; the awful fear that he had made a frightful error; the recollections he tried to erase, but couldn’t. We capture him in creating a real home, a sanctuary of simplicity and quiet ease where, perhaps for a time, he could bring his memories back to life.
Anticipated publishing date late 2019/2020.
A Work In Progress.
'For me, writing a book at my age, lyrically, is a different proposition. Observation in most cases replaces emotion. The invisibility rather thrills me and so, instead, I watch.'
Anticipated publishing date late 2019/2020.
Beautiful Deconstruction sees people come to terms with the past, make peace with inner demons and learn to say goodbye to loved ones. A story of love, of loss and time. In short, what it feels like to grow older.
'I learned very early on in my life that nothing was for ever; so I should have been aware of disillusion in early middle age: but, somehow, we try to obliterate early warnings and go cantering along hopefully, idiotically...'
Beautiful Deconstruction charts the disintegration of the idyll between Douglas and Anthony as they leave their retreat in France and return full circle for an uncertain future in London.
In Citrus, Mark uses the unique structure of a tour through his French home to tell you about his life. Elements of and objects in each area of the home dredge up memories for him. Personal letters and photographs stir up other strands of memory, about people he has met, ideas and inspirations for his books and experiences that have had an impact on his life.
A book about a real person and objects in a real house.
Citrus is strictly a limited edition release and is only available atMaison De L'Orb.
Take Down The Flags.
To understand Take Down The Flags you have to go back a few years. The original idea was a collection of short stories based on real life memories from people who had experienced war and the aftermath. What did they remember? Was it all misery? Did they wave the flags when the ceasefire happened? Did they actually – miss – it?
Instead of just writing up what they said I have used (with their permission) their stories and recollections as a basis to form various stories. Names and places have been changed and various stories have been altered for dramatic purposes.
A film adaptation of various stories from the book has recently been confirmed.
'I put on my pointed hat and my black and silver suit. I check my gunpowder pack and I strap the stick on my back. I’m dressed as a rocket with a fuse in my hand and shooting into the sky. Let me go, watch how I shine. I want to run, I will run away. Look at my smile, see how I land. I point to the sky with my black and silver wand. I am a rocket with my tail on fire. Because I am a rocket and you have to let me fly.'
From an early age writing was probably my first love affair with life. When I was originally asked by my publishers to write and compile a brand new collection of prose it was like being asked once again 'Would you like to fulfill a dream, would you like to be like that rocket?'... Yes. I would.
Nemesis has an arrangement of journeys, in the rain; through the length of a lifetime; amongst history, between emotions; and journeys across great oceans. So although it’s not a themed collection of words, as such, there is an underlying connection between the pieces.
Stephen Wallingford died intestate in 1990, aged 86, and has in recent times become a cult figure. He appears in numerous biographies about the 1920s and 1930s and was the model and inspiration for the 1938 dramatic novel by George Headland Those Beautiful, Beautiful People. In his early youth he entertained his friends at his family home of Arches and it was here he lived for many years until his death. He was photographed by many of the greatest artistes of his time and become one of the typical images of 1920s and 1930s beautiful young people. He would be seen with painted lips, powder on his face and gold dust sprinkled through his hair. But putting aside all the endless parties and various love affairs, Stephen was actually a very lonely man. Disowned later in life by his two sisters he survived on the friendships of few people including his mother and socialite and fellow writer Agatha Dewsbury. He sought freedom and expression in his writings and published works which are all still in print today. Later in life he became a former shadow of himself, a recluse, obese, redecorating Arches with fishnets, pink satin and golden conch shells. His hair was long and dyed mauve, he wore caftans and many gilded bangles. He became an embarrassment to the few surviving friends he had left and was cut off from his remaining family, so in retaliation and defiance, he decided to shut himself away from the real world and write his memoirs, which were never published in his lifetime.
But there is one small problem. Stephen and Agatha did not exist, nor did any of their contemporaries featured in this book, for the brutal reason that he was never born. The stories are fake and the news never happened. This is something new and strange - a fictionalized retrospective, part interview, part biographical about unreal people set in a real world.
A 'Sorta Fairytale
A 'Sorta Fairytale brings together for the first time the complete collection of short stories, poetry and prose in one edition with the addition of liner notes and observations. Featuring all works from Even When Tonight Is Over,
The Hair Of The Hound, Hounds Of Winter, Jig Of Life, Soon Before The Sun and Ember Asleep. A further edition 'Eine Art Märchen' features 'Nemesis' and is available throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
With Chris Henson.
Tour De Europa.
Trilogy Book One.
When I toured across Europe for promotion of a recent published book, I anticipated some sort of confrontation between my own values of what a book launch should be, perhaps a theatrical presentation, and traditional publishing values alongside the usual audiences and critics. In fact, the book tour was a thrilling experience for me, the book sold well, the audiences were enthusiastic and everyone involved worked incredibly hard to present a structured launch in venues of varying sizes – even some of the critics liked it.
Chris Henson travelled with me on the entire tour.
This book is a record of it.
Trilogy Book Two.
When I undertook my first ever meet and greet tour throughout America during 2016, I asked Chris Henson to accompany me with the idea of eventually producing some sort of picture book with text in a similar vein to his previous book Tour De Europa.
In America and back in Europe, he followed me with a notebook jotting down everything of interest he witnessed. In the end I agreed he could write a more detailed account than I first imagined. The book you are holding is the result.
Reading the manuscript for the first time, I was, yet again, horrified. Am I really that critical? Do I really have many demands? Do I seem to be always eating? Do I always complain? Am I self-obsessed and so frequently rude? Do I discuss money and snipe about other people quite so much? Apparently yes.
Perhaps we will learn as much as anyone else who reads this book about me.
Up Against It
The final part of the trilogy.
A new book, a musical theatre workshop opening, numerous recording sessions, songwriting, a launch, interviews, dinner, a book tour and the beginnings of a film.
But most of all, the true essence of friendships.
Written by Chris Henson (Tour De Europa, Versus America)
Even When Tonight Is Over.
'Alone in the water, she rose and fell with every wave, counting each one in turn, becoming each one. Was this then her destiny? All was quiet, save for a lone voice from within. It was whispering to her, coaxing her, soothing her, murdering her. 'Close your eyes, go to sleep now.' With genuine love and understanding, a single tear trickled down her cheek to the slowly forming smile. Jumbled thoughts and half-lost memories suddenly became clear to her. Now she understood. Closing her eyes, she rose with the ninth wave.'
A collection of stories meticulously composed and each with their own hidden meaning. But the meaning may be different to the individual reader.
The Hair Of The Hound.
'I breathe shallow deep inside of me. I see the cracked dusty surface of your bedroom floor, the stained dry sun bleached plain that begs for more. We drift in and out of conscious conversation…'
A collection of prose.
Hounds Of Winter.
'I can see angels standing around you. They shimmer like mirrors in the woodlands of summer. They shimmer like mirrors in the gardens of summer.'
I have always loved the winter months with their crisp mornings, candlelight and promise of snow. Hounds Of Winter is a collection of prose relating to my adoration of the cold months, my fondness for the winter landscape with its pale blue skies and bare trees; for autumn and winter nights and the season's rituals and feasting. Christmas features, its fables, folklore and of course, its lushness. This is my celebration of the cold months from late autumn to well into the New Year. It was one of my favourite books to write and release.
Jig Of Life.
'Jig Of Life' is a collection of short tales, which could, given time, be expanded into longer stories. The stories are presented as edits from the originals. Tales of love, of life, of death and sacrifice, but most of all, love.
This book is for the living yet has been inspired by friends from the past.
Soon Before The Sun.
'A room of white pure marble, this is where I start my journey. I let my body fill with love and the voyage starts to begin.'
A glimpse into summer through the language of words.
'I dream only of loss, the fine silver tinged gossamer threads of the past.'
Initial copies came with a disc of instrumental music. Opening with the soft sound of seagulls, a piano chord leads straight into 'Wonderful Snowflake.' The song has muted lullabies set against a backdrop sound of falling snow and ends with sleigh bells. 'Keep falling, I'll find you, Keep falling, I'll find you.'
'Mistraldespair' is a short piano chord song with the refrain by 'Be with me always, day and night.' Listen carefully through a set of headphones and you will hear a submarine surfacing and Morse code typing out S.O.S.
The song mixes straight into 'Eider Falls At Lake Tahoe,' a second piano led track with more sound effects added, a thunderstorm, howling wind, hounds barking and pouring rain finally ending with the sound of a helicopter hovering above. 'The Sensual World' is a rousing Arabic flute affair, partly calypso with vocals merging into 'Sunset' a short tranquil piece ending with the sound of seagulls. The final track and a late addition was fondly remembered as, “the last song recorded around midnight one Friday night as we were drinking wine.” 'Home For Christmas' is inspired by old holiday. 'You know that I am here. I will be waiting for your footsteps. And when you are here, I know you will be home for Christmas.'