Posted by: billpurdue | June 21, 2010

An Interview with Gervase Phinn

The name of Gervase Phinn has popped up quite frequently in recent postings, so I hope you won’t mind one final mention – for the time being at any rate. It’s just that a few weeks ago I was able to arrange an interview with Mr Phinn when he was appearing at Newark Palace Theatre during his 50 venue tour. He told me about his rapid rise to success and how it came about and what he has in store for his fans in the next 12 months, including a new series of novels about village school life, the first one being due in 2011. To listen to the interview click here. The interview,  lasts just over 15 minutes and can heard by clicking this link.

Clouds and waves


This afternoon I drove to Lowdham (Notts.) for one of the many book festival events taking place there this week and next. Gavin Pretor-Pinney gave a talk about his new book which is all about waves, and not just those that lap on the seashore. The Wavewatcher’s Companion [Bloomsbury £14.99 9780747589761] is about sound waves, light waves, Mexican waves, sonar waves and so on, though he did speak a little about clouds, in order not to disappoint his many cloud spotting fans. Using the term “wave” fairly loosely he ranges over the many types of waves, including torsional waves that cause suspension bridges to collapse. This included the famous bridge at Tacoma Narrows in the USA which collapsed in 1940 less than 6 months after opening. A video of this plus other YouTube videos and many still photos and diagrams illustrated his talk. A really enjoyable and often amusing afternoon, and a sell-out too  – if you get the chance to hear him speak, I can highly recommend it.

Mr Pretor-Pinney is well known for his Cloud Appreciation Society which has over twenty one and a half thousand members. He has also produced the “Cloud Spotter’s Guide” and “A Pig with Six Legs”, a book of photographs sent in by society members of unusually shaped clouds. (The US edition is called “Hot Pink Flying Saucers”)

The Lowdham Book Festival “final Saturday” at Lowdham always has lots of events and they are all free. I’m hoping to be there this Saturday.

The next big thing for vampire fans…

… is reckoned to be The Passage by Justin Cronin [ Orion 9780752897844 £20 – but expect big discounts) due out later this week. It’s been described as “a feverishly readable post-apocalyptic-cum-vampire chiller”, “a novel-reader’s novel” and  an“immense brick of a retelling of the vampire myth”. Stephen King likes it too!

The story is about a six year old girl, a man on death row, a professor’s discovery in the South American jungle and an FBI agent who believes something unimaginable is coming and how all four become bound together and taken “through a world transformed by man’s darkest dreams”– but I’m sure that brief description doesn’t do justice to this 700 page plus blockbuster. There’s a website dedicated just to this novel.


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